Effective Viscosity of Slag and Kinetic Stirring Parameter Applied in Steel Cleanliness During Vacuum Degassing

<div><p>The process of vacuum degassing occurs during the secondary refining of special steels. Its main function is to remove undesirable gases. However, during this process, flotation phenomenon and inclusions absorption are reported. The aim of the present work was to study the slag viscosity and vacuum degassing (tank type) capacity in steel cleanliness from an industry perspective. To achieve this objective, slag and steel samples were taken before and after the vacuum stage. The results in steel cleanliness were related to a kinetic stirring parameter (βs) of the vacuum station and to the effect of slag viscosity. The removal of inclusions during the vacuum stage reached 64, 75 and 78% in the diameter ranges of 2.5-5, 5-15 and ≥ 15 µm, respectively. After the degassing process, the composition of non-metallic inclusions seemed to approach the slags' chemical compositions. The stirring process in the vacuum degassing station promotes a significant decrease in the inclusion densities for the 2.5-15 µm diameter range and also in the sulfur content in liquid steel. Regarding the effective viscosities of slags, it was concluded that lower values (0.20 Pa.s) increased slag capacity in inclusion removal, whereas higher values (> 0.40 Pa.s) were detrimental to steel cleanliness.</p></div>