Laboratory - Continuous Casting Consortium - U of I
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Metals Processing Simulation Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
345 Mechanical Engineering Bldg.
1206 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: 217-244-4656, 217-244-2859
Fax: 217-244-6534


This facility, combined with the expertise of our research group, allows the simulation of fluid flow, heat transfer, and stress generation of a range of metallurgical processes, and especially, the continuous casting of steel slabs.

Computational Facilities

A state of the art computational facility, located in 345 MEB at the University of Illinois, is dedicated to the modeling and simulation of metals processes using advanced, but computationally demanding finite-element software. The laboratory currently features more than 10 computer workstations (including IBM, SGI, SUN, and HP workstations, several Macintosh computers, and several high-end Pentium III and IV PCs), associated peripherals, and fast network connections, including access to the supercomputers at NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois).

Programs currently running on the Metals Process Simulation Laboratory computer systems include several in-house simulation programs:

CON2D Coupled finite-element code, used for transient,thermal-stress analysis of a solidifying shell, including effects of fluid flow on superheat and mold distortion.
1-D finite-difference analysis of mold, shell, and gap heat transfer in continuously-cast steel slabs, rounds, and strip, used for prediction of boiling, optimum taper design, surface crack danger due to complete flux solidification in the interfacial gap, location of defects, and parametric analysis of mold variables.
MIX1D 1-D finite-difference analysis of tundish and mold intermixing during grade changes, including prediction of composition distribution in blooms and slabs.
The Laboratory also makes use of commercial software, including:
Finite-volume fluid flow and heat transfer code, used for modeling multiphase flow in the nozzle and mold
FLOW3D Finite-volume fluid flow code, used for modelling bubble formation and free surfaces
ABAQUS Non-linear finite element code, used for thermal-stress and mold distortion.
FIDAP Coupled finite-element fluid flow and heat transfer code, used for modeling nozzle, top-surface powder layers, and graphics visualization.
TEKPLOT Graphics visualization packages.

Materials Evaluation Facilities

The Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois provides equipment and services for microstructure evaluation through the Center for Microanalysis of Materials. The center facilities include SEM, Auger, SIMS, XPS, PIXE, X-Ray Diffraction, and TEM. Extensive facilities are also available for testing of mechanical properties. A complete machine shop and metallography laboratory are available in the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department for sample preparation, including polishing wheels, etching facilities, and optical microscopes.

Experimental Validation Facilities

Physical water model facilities are available at the research laboratories of several of the companies participating in the consortium, and have been used by our group to study flow in the liquid pool of the continuous casting mold region. Experiments, data collection, and measurements have also been performed on the production casters of the consortium members, to obtain calibration and input data, validate the models, and test the suggested improvements.

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