INTRODUCTION OF A SYSTEM FOR AUTOMATICALLY FEEDING A
SLAG-FORMING MIXTURE INTO THE MOLD OF A CONTINUOUS CASTER
S. V. Gorostkin
and V. Garten
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 4, pp. 39 – 42, April, 2013.
Original article submitted March 20, 2013.
The quality and safety of the operation of continuous casting depend to a large extent on making the correct
choices for the slag-forming mixture and the technology to use it. Automated systems developed to feed such
mixtures make it possible to introduce a mixture into the mold in small and precisely measured amounts,
which improves the surface quality of continuous-cast slabs, decreases the number of metal products rejected
for defects of metallurgical origin, and reduces the consumption of slag-forming mixtures.
Keywords: automated systems for feeding slag-forming mixtures, continuous casting machine, nonmetallic
inclusions, slab defects.
The quality of continuous-cast semifinished products and
the stability of the casting operation in large part depend on
making the right choice for the composition of the slag-form-
ing mixtures that are used and the uniformity with which
they are fed into the mold. The standard practice is to manu-
ally proportion out the mixture while the steel is being
poured. Here, the level of the powder or granulate being in-
troduced can amount to 20 mm of the thickness of the
slag-forming material in the mold. When the slag-forming
mixture is fed manually into the mold during the initial stage
of the casting operation, the thickness of the layer of molten
slag can initially decrease sharply and then undergo a sub
stantial increase. The decrease seen in the thickness of the
molten layer of slag can be attributed to cooling of the slag as
a result of the introduction of a large amount of a material
which is at the ambient temperature. The subsequent increase
in the thickness of the unfused upper layer — which serves
as an insulating material and a source of heat for the free car
bon which is formed during combustion — raises the tem
perature of the slag and produces a corresponding reduction
in its viscosity. With the use of a radioactive sensor to moni
tor the level of the metal in the mold, it has been found that
the increase in the thickness of the liquid intermediate layer
of the slag film results in lowering of the meniscus of the
metal inside the mold. In addition, the low viscosity of the
slag increases its flow velocity and leads to nonuniform heat
flow about the perimeter of the mold. On the whole, these
developments have an adverse effect on the quality of the
Having worked together with the firm S&B Industrial
Minerals GmbH over many years, the company VGH
Viktoria Garten Hüttenindustriebedarf AG is now success-
fully collaborating with many metallurgical plants in Russia,
the Ukraine, and the Republic of Belarus. Slag-forming and
exothermic mixtures are being delivered to such large metal-
lurgical combines as the OAO NLMK, OAO MMK, the
plants of the OMK company group, OAO ChMK (Mechel),
OAO “EVRAZ NTMK,” OAO “EVRAZ ZSMK,” OAO
“Severstal’,” PAO “MK ‘Azovstal’”, and OAO “BMZ –
BMK Holding Company.” Continuous casters for casting
slabs from 90 to 350 mm thick, sections, and blooms consti
tute the main market for the company’s slag-forming mix
Given the wide range of steels cast on these machines, a
correspondingly wide range of slag-forming mixtures with
different specific physical properties is needed in order to ob
tain excellent parameters for the casting operation.
In addition to the proper choice of slag-forming mixture,
the quality and safety of the casting operation is also affected
by the choice of technology for the use of such mixtures. Au
tomated systems for feeding slag-forming mixtures have be
come extremely important in modern casting operations.
Such systems make it possible to deliver the mixture in small
and precisely measured quantities over certain time intervals.
Pneumatic conveying/feeding systems currently are the most
flexible with regard to their ability to be incorporated into
existing continuous casters and the range of materials that
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 54, No. 2, July, 2013
1083-4877/13/05402-0116 © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York
S&B Industrial Minerals GmbH, Oberhausen, Germany.
VGH AG, Schwelm, Germany.