Application of Cathodoluminescence in Analyzing Mold Flux Films


Mold fluxes are used in continuous casting of steel to control heat transfer from the steel shell to the copper mold based on their structure and properties. Structures observed in mold flux film samples extracted from conventional and thin slab continuous casters at the end of a cast were examined using cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging in conjunction with XRD and SEM/EDS analysis. Glassy and crystalline structures in the flux films varied greatly depending on sampling location in the mold, distance from the mold wall and the mold flux being examined. Temperature data collected from thermocouple arrays in a thin slab funnel mold indicated sawtooth temperature fluctuations in the lower area of the funnel region, presumably due to cyclic fracture and regrowth of the mold flux crystalline layer in that region of the mold. The temperature observations correlate well with the structures observed in the flux film samples from the region. CL microscopy clearly distinguishes glassy regions from regions with devitrified and dendritic crystal growth, as well as continuous and fractured crystallite layers and cuspidine and nepheline phases that are present. The technique also highlights small variations in Mn oxide content in the glassy region of the flux that results from exchange reactions with the steel, making flow lines in the previously liquid portion of the flux film clearly visible. The benefits of applying cathodoluminescence imaging to the analysis of mold flux films in continuous casting are discussed.

Meeting Name

10th International Conference on Molten Slags, Fluxes and Salts (2015: May 22-25, Seattle, WA)


Materials Science and Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Peaslee Steel Manufacturing Research Center

Keywords and Phrases

Mold Flux; Continuous Casting; Cathodoluminescence

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

25 May 2016