Theoretical Analysis and Experiment of Liquid Metal Penetration into Slot Plug Applied for Refining Ladles
Penetration phenomena of liquid metal into a slot plug is applicable to a wide range of refining ladles. In the current work, slot plug parameters, especially the slot width, which is the most important factor for operational safety, were studied by analyzing the penetration mechanism in using interfacial theory. A theoretical model for predicting the relationship of plug parameters and liquid metal bath depth is proposed. Furthermore, a simple approach of measuring penetration depth and flow behavior of liquid metal is presented. The corresponding experiment validating the model was successfully performed with Wood's metal. The results show that factors affecting the penetration of liquid metal into slot plug include slot geometric parameters, surface roughness, and ambient pressures. Of these, slot width is the primary factor determining the penetration, and the effect of slot length can be ignored when it reaches 50 times the width. The penetration process of liquid metal into slot plug can be divided into three stages: unsteady penetration, main penetration, and terminal penetration. Increasing the uniformity of slot width along the length direction can extend the service life of slot plug.