CFD Modelling of Top-Submerged-Lance Argon Injection in Liquid Metal

Additonal authors: Kriebitzsch, S.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Obiso, D.

The present paper focuses the application of CFD techniques to investigate the Top-Submerged- Lance (TSL) gas injection in liquid metal. Previous works of the authors have shown that up- and down- scaling procedures based on the modified Froude number have some shortcomings, as this approach does not take into account the interfacial and viscous forces. Indeed, surface tension and dynamic viscosity of the smelting slags (σ = 0.4-0.5 N/m, μ = 0.2 Pa·s) are higher than the operating fluids that have been used in literature (water, paraffin oil) to study TSL injection in down-scaled furnaces. In order to get closer to real systems, the authors study the TSL injection of Argon in a liquid metal. An experimental campaign was carried out in the X-ray lab at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), where the eutectic alloy GaInSn was used as liquid phase. The alloy is liquid at room temperature, and X-Ray imaging is used to picture the multiphase flow in a quasi-2D vessel. The aim of the present work is to demonstrate the applicability of CFD techniques to model multiphase flows involving liquid metals, and validate the model using the data produced at HZDR. The commercial software ANSYS Fluent® was used together with the Volume of Fluid model to directly resolve the gas-liquid interphase. Some features of the flow, such as the void fraction distribution and bubble detachment frequency are tracked with CFD and compared to the experimental data. INTRODUCTION In the last thirty years the TSL smelting technology has increasingly been used for industrial non- ferrous smelting processes and is now one of the significant pyrometallurgical processes. Developed in the early 1970’s at CSIRO, the furnace is nowadays commercialized in different market sectors, including copper and lead smelting, zinc fuming, waste treatment and slag recovery (Floyd, 2005). Despite the wide application of these reactors in the pyrometallurgical market, some aspects of the process are still not fully clarified, since in-situ measurements and optical accesses are prohibitive because of the high temperatures and aggressive conditions. Phenomena such as the bubbling regime, the slag solidification and the submerged combustion still need a deeper scientific investigation to obtain a better understanding of the process.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019