Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), Brunel University London, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, United Kingdom; Computational Science and Engineering Group (CSEG), Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [Email]
Acoustic streaming and its attendant effects in the sump of a direct-chill (DC) casting process are successfully predicted under ultrasonic treatment for the first time. The proposed numerical model couples acoustic cavitation, fluid flow, heat and species transfer, and solidification to predict the flow pattern, acoustic pressure, and temperature fields in the sump. The model is numerically stable with time steps of the order of 0.01 s and therefore computationally attractive for optimization studies necessitating simulation times of the order of a minute. The sump profile is altered by acoustic streaming, with the slurry region depressed along the centreline of the billet by a strong central jet. The temperature gradient in the transition zone is increased, potentially interfering with grain refinement. The cooling rate in the sump is also altered, thereby modifying the dendrite arm spacing of the as-cast billet. The relative position of the sonotrode affects the sump profile, with the sump depth decreased by around 5 mm when the sonotrode is moved above the graphite ring level by 100 mm. The acoustic streaming jet penetrates into the slurry zone and, as a result, the growth direction of dendritic grains in the off-centre position is altered.