Numerical Modeling of Supersonic Coherent Jet and In-Bath Multiphase Flow Behavior During the Steel Making Process in the Electric Arc Furnace

Yuchao Chen, Purdue University


The electric arc furnace (EAF) is a furnace utilizing electricity as the main energy source to melt the steel scrap by electric arc discharging from the graphite electrodes. Due to the small heat loss, high thermal efficiency, and flexible performing conditions, EAF has been increasingly used in steel manufacturing during the past two decades, where it recycles scrap metal to produce around 1/3 of the world’s annual steel production. In general, the EAF steelmaking process is a complex, high-temperature physicochemical process in which gas, solid, liquid, and arc plasma coexist, and momentum, mass, and heat transfer are coupled. Attempts to concurrently capture all of the complex physical phenomena through traditional simulation are difficult, time-consuming, and easy-divergent. In this study, a comprehensive steel refining computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed for a full-scale industrial EAF, which is composed of the supersonic coherent jet sub-model and the in-bath steel refining multiphase flow sub-model. Validation has been conducted utilizing either literature or real data from a steel plant. A new integration approach was proposed in this study based on the momentum transfer between the jet and the molten bath, which uses a theoretical interface to represent the in-bath jet cavity. The commercial software ANSYS Fluent® was employed to solve the comprehensive flow field and make the further investigation of the flow characteristics. Moreover, the parametric studies for each sub-model have been performed respectively to investigate the effect of related parameters on the steel refining process. Simulation results reveal that ambient temperature, polymerization degree, and the air-fuel ratio have great impact on the jet axial velocity decay ratio and jet potential core length. Meanwhile, changing the jet angle as well as the ambient temperature has different effects on the average in-bath velocity, turbulent kinetic energy, and uncovered steel cavity surface area during the steel refining stage.




Zhou, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

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