Quality Prediction of Cast Ingots

I. Hahn, M. Schneider, MAGMA Giessereitechnologie GmbH, Aachen, Germany
J. Terhaar, J. Jarolimeck, R. Sauermann, Saarschmiede GmbH Freiformschmiede, Völklingen, Germany

Today, more than 90% of all steel semi-finished products are continuously cast. Ingot casting production is increasingly concentrated on special alloys and products, which can only be produced by this process and where all of the typical quality issues associated with ingot casting are accepted. Steel ingots are subsequently subject to further processing steps, the most important of which is forging.

There is no doubt that proper quality control and cost savings throughout the whole production process are key factors for a competitive production. The quality of the as-cast ingot is the starting point for all subsequent heat treatment and deformation processing. The state-of-art tool to investigate and predict product quality is simulation. With casting process simulation, it is possible to teem, solidify and cool a virtual ingot to predict e.g. shrinkage, centreline porosity, segregation, inclusions, residual stresses and cracks that originate during casting. The simulated properties of the as-cast ingot can be transferred to a subsequent forging simulation in order to predict their influence on the quality of the final product.

This paper shows how the quality of a cast ingot can be predicted using simulation. Emphasis is laid on those casting defects that will affect the quality of the forged end-product. The simulation of ingot casting starts with tapping a steel melt of a given chemistry from a ladle. The teeming, solidification and cooling of the ingot are simulated with the casting process simulation software MAGMA  5. The results of this simulation are then mapped as input to a forging simulation.

The results of the integrated process simulation illustrate the future capabilities for the virtual prediction of the quality of ingot cast and forged products.


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