Advanced Simulation and Modeling Technologies of Metallurgical Processes

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701). This special issue belongs to the section "Computation and Simulation on Metals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 7404

Special Issue Editor

Key Laboratory for Ecological Metallurgy of Multimetallic Mineral (Ministry of Education), School of Metallurgy, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
Interests: blast furnace; iron ore sintering; iron ore reduction reaction; charging law in blast furnace; software development in ironmaking process; shaft furnace; low carbon ironmaking technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the rapid developments in computer technologies during the last two decades, computer-based process modelling has become an important tool for the improvement of existing process technologies and the development of innovative ones. With the help of numerical process simulations, complex and costly experimental trials can now be reduced to a minimum. In particular, for metallurgical processes, computer simulations are of outstanding importance.

The numerical methods for metallurgical processes nowadays cover a wide array of applications, such as multiphase flow, multi-physics processes, optimization, and process simulation. The detailed and vast amounts of simulation data allow a thorough analysis of the relevant processes and their interactions that reveal the underlying physics. A deep understanding is of critical importance for process design and performance. Hereby, we tried to select contributions which focus on innovative models/techniques/methods and provide some new insights into the different areas of metallurgical processes in ironmaking and steelmaking.

In this Special Issue, we seek to provide a wide set of articles on various aspects of simulation and modeling technologies in metallurgical processes. It is hoped that this open access Special Issue will provide a place for anyone to familiarize themselves with the current state of the technologies in metallurgical processes. Articles on the ironmaking and steelmaking process are desired, such as data-driver modeling in sintering, blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces, gas-solid flow behavior by means of CFD, particle motion behavior by means of the discrete element method (DEM), new process development based on carbon peaking and carbon neutralization, the application of mathematical models, new methods of visualization and intelligence, and so on.

Dr. Haifeng Li
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • forecasting modeling
  • sintering
  • blast furnace
  • basic oxygen furnace
  • gas-solid flow behavior
  • carbon peaking and carbon neutralization
  • application of mathematical model
  • methods of visualization and intelligence
  • discrete element method (DEM)

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 979 KiB  
Article
Large-Scale Multi-Phase-Field Simulation of 2D Subgrain Growth
by Ali Khajezade, Warren J. Poole, Michael Greenwood and Matthias Militzer
Metals 2024, 14(5), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/met14050584 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 153
Abstract
The characteristics of subgrains in a deformed state after the high-temperature deformation of aluminum alloys control the subsequent recrystallization process and corresponding mechanical properties. In this study, systematic 2D phase-field simulations have been conducted to determine the role of deformed state parameters such [...] Read more.
The characteristics of subgrains in a deformed state after the high-temperature deformation of aluminum alloys control the subsequent recrystallization process and corresponding mechanical properties. In this study, systematic 2D phase-field simulations have been conducted to determine the role of deformed state parameters such as subgrain size and disorientation distributions on subgrain growth in an individual grain representing a single crystallographic orientation. The initial subgrain size and disorientation distributions have been varied by ±50%. To have a statistically relevant number of subgrains, large-scale simulations have been conducted using an in-house-developed phase-field code that takes advantage of distributed computing. The results of these simulations indicate that the growth of subgrains reaches a self-similar regime regardless of the initial subgrain structure. A narrower initial subgrain size distribution leads to faster growth rates, but it is the initial disorientation distribution that has a larger impact on the growth of subgrains. The results are discussed in terms of the evolution of the average diameter of subgrains and the average disorientation in the microstructure. Full article
11 pages, 2323 KiB  
Article
Simulation and Validation of Thickness of Slag Crust on the Copper Stave in the High-Temperature Area of Blast Furnace
by Dongliang Liu, Wei Zhang, Zhengliang Xue, Chunhui Song and Lingkun Chen
Metals 2024, 14(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/met14010019 - 22 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 835
Abstract
The blast furnace is the dominant high-temperature reactor in the modern ironmaking industry. Iron oxide in iron ores can be converted to metallic iron through blast furnace smelting, and this high-temperature melting can be used to separate the molten iron from the gangue [...] Read more.
The blast furnace is the dominant high-temperature reactor in the modern ironmaking industry. Iron oxide in iron ores can be converted to metallic iron through blast furnace smelting, and this high-temperature melting can be used to separate the molten iron from the gangue components. The formation and thickness of the hot-surface slag crust on the copper stave in the high-temperature area of the middle and lower parts of the blast furnace are crucial for the safe operation and long campaign of the blast furnace. To enhance the precision of determining the thickness of the slag crust in this specific region, samples were extracted from the hot surface of the copper cooler situated in the high-temperature area. This extraction was carried out during the maintenance procedure of the blast furnace stockline. Subsequently, the thermal conductivity and melting performance of the slag crust were measured. The slag crust thicknesses corresponding to the various temperature measurement sites of the stave were determined by developing a mathematical model for the heat transfer of the copper stave. The actual slag crust thickness measurement data were acquired while the blast furnace stockline was in operation, and the data were then utilized to corroborate the model’s predictions. A blast furnace with an effective volume of 3200 m3 was used to test the model. The average thickness of the hot-surface slag crust was computed for cases that occurred between 2020 and 2022. The data’s correlations with the blast furnace’s technical and economic indices during the same time period were examined. The findings indicated that the blast furnace’s operation indices improved with a thinner slag crust, but there was also a higher chance of damage to the copper stave’s internal cooling water pipes. Taking into account the technical and economic indices as well as a long campaign of the blast furnace, 150–200 mm is recommended as the appropriate average slag crust thickness on the surface of the copper stave in the high-temperature section. Full article
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15 pages, 1612 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of Long-Process Ironmaking in a Reduction Smelting Furnace with Hydrogen-Enriched Conditions
by Haifeng Li and Jingran Chen
Metals 2023, 13(10), 1756; https://doi.org/10.3390/met13101756 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) is still the main process used for the production of iron and steel in China. With the approach of the “dual carbon” target, the iron and steel industry needs to transform and upgrade to “green” [...] Read more.
The blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) is still the main process used for the production of iron and steel in China. With the approach of the “dual carbon” target, the iron and steel industry needs to transform and upgrade to “green” and “low-carbon” practices. At present, the low-carbon hydrogen metallurgy technology route based on hydrogen instead of carbon is mainly adopted at home and abroad, and the domestic route is mainly based on oxygen-rich BFs and hydrogen-based shaft furnaces (SFs). It promotes the transformation of the traditional BF to hydrogen-rich, oxygen-rich, and carbon-recycled (Hy-O-CR) technology. A new ironmaking system and method for a reduction smelting furnace (RSF) with Hy-O-CR is presented in this paper. The ironmaking system includes nine sets of equipment, such as an RSF, gas dust collector, dryer, CO2 separator, electrolytic water device, blower, heat exchanger, storage tank of reduction gas, and chimney. From top to bottom, the RSF includes an indirect reduction zone, a soft melting dripping zone, and a coke combustion zone. The ironmaking methods include coke and ore mixed charging, injection of the mixed reduction gas composed of electrolytic green hydrogen and circulating gas from the furnace gas into the indirect reduction zone, injection of oxygen into the coke combustion zone, CO2 recovery of the furnace top gas, and slag and iron treatment. By redesigning the size of the furnace type and optimizing the parameters, the metallization rate of the indirect reduction zone can be as high as 85–95%, and the carbon consumption per ton of hot metal can be greatly reduced. By using oxygen to recycle the reduction gas produced by its reactor, the process achieves the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by more than 50%, thus realizing green and low-carbon metallurgy. Full article
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17 pages, 5163 KiB  
Article
Digital Twin Design of a Turbulence Inhibitor in a Tundish Based on the Production Cluster Mining Algorithm
by Jianzhou Wu, Yan Jin, Feifang Gan, Xiaoting Li, Ziyu Liu, Peng Lin, Zhengchao Huang and Hongzhi Ling
Metals 2023, 13(10), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/met13101651 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 656
Abstract
The lack of a direct and linear relation between inclusion removal from tundishes and the design of their turbulence inhibitors is a difficult challenge. In contrast to the traditional method of optimizing flow control devices based on the residence time distribution curve, this [...] Read more.
The lack of a direct and linear relation between inclusion removal from tundishes and the design of their turbulence inhibitors is a difficult challenge. In contrast to the traditional method of optimizing flow control devices based on the residence time distribution curve, this study used the inclusion/flow field database production clustering mining algorithm to conduct step-by-step data mining on the tundish flow field; to produce relevant facts of the flow field characteristics in the inclusion aggregation zone; and to extract the data mining results from the fact database to screen a digital twin algorithm that forecasts the inclusion aggregation area in a tundish to optimize the flow control device. The results showed that the inclusion aggregation area in the tundish impact zone is above the turbulence inhibitor and that the inclusion aggregation area outside the tundish impact zone is at the vortex center of the flow field. According to the mining results, a pseudo-code for screening the inclusion aggregation area was developed, and the turbulence inhibitor was optimized with the help of the digital convergence of the digital and physical models. Finally, in a tundish, the inclusion removal rate in molten steel was increased by 14.4%. The turbulence inhibitor designed by the digital twin method is currently being used in a Chinese steel mill. Full article
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11 pages, 3804 KiB  
Article
A Model for Direct Effect of Graphene on Mechanical Property of Al Matrix Composite
by Hongshuo Sun, Na Li, Yongchao Zhu and Kailiang Liu
Metals 2023, 13(8), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/met13081351 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
Direct effect of graphene on mechanical property of Al matrix composite has been studied by using molecular dynamic (MD) methods. The models of graphene-reinforced composite are achieved by modeling the sintering system consisting of Al particles and graphene nanosheets (GNSs), while pure Al [...] Read more.
Direct effect of graphene on mechanical property of Al matrix composite has been studied by using molecular dynamic (MD) methods. The models of graphene-reinforced composite are achieved by modeling the sintering system consisting of Al particles and graphene nanosheets (GNSs), while pure Al models are obtained by deleting graphene in the composites. Structural analysis on composites indicate the increment of GNSs can promote the densification of metal matrix, increase the porosity in composite, and restrict the metal grain size. Such analysis is also performed on pure Al models, and the similarity in structure between pure Al and composite models is confirmed by the tiny difference in the nanopores, atomic images, and the number of ordered atoms. Tensile processes on the similar structures with or without graphene reveal that the direct effect of graphene shows an obvious anisotropy, low graphene content may weaken the composite in some directions, while high graphene content can strengthen the composite in more directions. However, the highest content of GNSs just brings a slight increase of 2.7% in tensile strength. The atomic images of crack propagation and the atomic stress confirm that graphene is not efficient in load transfer. Therefore, the direct effect of graphene is believed to play a very small role in strengthening mechanisms. Full article
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34 pages, 36237 KiB  
Article
A Rapid, Open-Source CCT Predictor for Low-Alloy Steels, and Its Application to Compositionally Heterogeneous Material
by Joshua Collins, Martina Piemonte, Mark Taylor, Jonathan Fellowes and Ed Pickering
Metals 2023, 13(7), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/met13071168 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
The ability to predict transformation behaviour during steel processing, such as primary heat treatments or welding, is extremely beneficial for tailoring microstructures and properties to a desired application. In this work, a model for predicting the continuous cooling transformation (CCT) behaviour of low-alloy [...] Read more.
The ability to predict transformation behaviour during steel processing, such as primary heat treatments or welding, is extremely beneficial for tailoring microstructures and properties to a desired application. In this work, a model for predicting the continuous cooling transformation (CCT) behaviour of low-alloy steels is developed, using semi-empirical expressions for isothermal transformation behaviour. Coupling these expressions with Scheil’s additivity rule for converting isothermal to non-isothermal behaviour, continuous cooling behaviour can be predicted. The proposed model adds novel modifications to the Li model in order to improve CCT predictions through the addition of a carbon-partitioning model, thermodynamic boundary conditions, and a Koistinen–Marburger expression for martensitic behaviour. These modifications expanded predictions to include characteristic CCT behaviour, such as transformation suppression, and an estimation of the final constituent fractions. The proposed model has been shown to improve CCT predictions for EN3B, EN8, and SA-540 B24 steels by better reflecting experimental measurements. The proposed model was also adapted into a more complex simulation that considers the chemical heterogeneity of the examined SA-540 material, showing a further improvement to CCT predictions and demonstrating the versatility of the model. The model is rapid and open source. Full article
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14 pages, 2003 KiB  
Article
Study on the Activity Model of PbO-ZnO-FeO-Fe2O3-SiO2-CaO Six-Component High-Lead Slag System
by Jinbo Song, Wenlong Xi and Liping Niu
Metals 2023, 13(4), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/met13040734 - 9 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
In this paper, the thermodynamic properties of the PbO-ZnO-FeO-Fe2O3-SiO2-CaO six-component slag system were studied by using the molecular-ion coexistence theory, and the influence of slag composition changes on the activity of each structural unit was analyzed. The [...] Read more.
In this paper, the thermodynamic properties of the PbO-ZnO-FeO-Fe2O3-SiO2-CaO six-component slag system were studied by using the molecular-ion coexistence theory, and the influence of slag composition changes on the activity of each structural unit was analyzed. The results show that the calculated value of the activity model is in good agreement with the measured value of the experiment, and the activity of each structural unit is greatly affected by the composition of the slag, but less affected by the temperature. High temperature is conducive to the decomposition of lead silicate and the formation of calcium-containing compounds, but the activity of ZnO will decrease. When the mass fraction of PbO increases, the main reaction is to combine with PbO·SiO2 to form 2PbO·SiO2. Increasing the mass fraction of ZnO and CaO is beneficial to the decomposition of lead silicate and an increase in PbO activity. When the iron-silicon ratio increases, it will promote the decomposition of lead silicate and the formation of ZnO·Fe2O3, so the activity of PbO will increase and the activity of ZnO will decrease. When the calcium-silicon ratio is low, the binary combination product of CaO and SiO2 is mainly CaO·SiO2, and when the calcium-silicon ratio rises above 0.5, the activities of 2CaO·SiO2 and 3CaO·2SiO2 will increase rapidly. Full article
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