Documents

Second periodic report (August 2019)
This report describes the main activities and results obtained during the whole period of the project (July 2016-June 2019).The major part of the effort has been focused on:
1. The design, development and testing of a laboratory prototype of the tomography system (tomographic device + tomographic algorithms)
2. The design, development, installation and field tests of two tomographic devices for the industrial process
3. The definition and implementation of the tomographic algorithms for the Continuos Casting (CC) process and their evaluation with the field data measured by the tomographic devices
4. The implementation and validation of a software sensor to predict the metallurgical length with the information of the shell thicknesses in two locations of the strand
5. The CFD and thermal simulation of the steelmaker partner industrial continuous casting process to support the design and validation of the tomographic system

Following, the main results in each one of the four active technical workpackages is described:
WP1. Requirements and Specifications: i) specification of the new tomographic device (16 coils fixed to a square structure surrounding the billet, 4 coils at each side); ii) definition of the scope for the tool to detect surface defects and potential fails of the process: rhombicity, bulging, depressions and cooling heterogeneities; and iii) specification of the GUI of the final application (configurable as much as possible to display the best information for the operators/technicians needs).

WP2. Basic prototype for laboratory tests: i) development of a laboratory prototype of the tomographic system that can be used to test the algorithms for the image reconstruction; and ii) results of different tests with the laboratory prototype showing that the Magnetic Induction Tomography technology is able to detect the change both in the internal structure and in the external shape.

WP3. Development of the system for an industrial process: i) development of one U-shape prototype and one closed prototype of the tomographic devices for the industrial process; ii) definition and implementation of the tomographic algorithms (based on the Total Variation (TV) regularisation method) for the reconstruction of the 2D electrical conductivity map and internal contours (solidification front) of a billet cross section; iii) definition and implementation of the tomographic algorithms (TV based threshold-differencing algorithm) for the detection of surface defects (bulging, depressions & rhomboicity) on the billet; iv) development and validation of a predictive model to obtain the metallurgical length with the information of the shell thicknesses in two locations of the strand; and v) implementation of the GUI of the application to display the information about shell thickness, metallurgical length, surface defects and alarms.

WP4. Modelling of the Industrial process solidification for validation of the new system: i) development of a CFD model for the simulation of the steelmaker partner industrial continuous casting process that was validated with temperature measurements of the billet and with macro-etch of slices to analyse the final position of the solidification end; ii) information about the metallurgical length and shell thickness obtained from the results of CFD simulations carried out for several steel grades and casting speeds.

WP5. Field testing of the new system: i) field test of the U-shape prototype of the tomography device installed on the steelmaker partner Continuous Casting Machine, after the withdrawal unit, and field of the closed device installed at the end of the secondary cooling chamber. The installation of the devices proved to be effective and the test showed that the designed cooling system is suitable for working in the harsh operating conditions; ii) evaluation of the performance of the tomographic algorithms for the reconstruction of the 2D electrical conductivity maps with the field data measured by the U-shape and closed devices: the results showed that the SHELL-THICK system is able to obtain the electrical conductivity map of a cross section of the billet, identifying the shape of the solidification front and detecting large changes in the internal structure of the billet. An optimisation of the device is needed to improve the accuracy and detect changes of a few millimetres; iii) evaluation of the performance of the tomographic algorithms for the detection of surface defects with simulation data, laboratory experimental data and field data measured by the closed device: the results show that the proposed method could be suitable for monitoring surface deformation and rhomboicity defects on the billet during the continuous casting process. Further improvements are needed to increase the sensitivity of the system to reconstruct the defects precisely; iv) analysis of the overall project achievements and identification of strategies to improve the performance of the SHELL-THICK system (tomography device + algorithms); and iv) transferability analysis of the SHELL-THICK technology to other formats and recommendations for its implementation.

WP6. Management, dissemination and exploitation: i) presentation of the project in conferences and publication of two scientific papers; ii) preliminary patentability study with the final decision to start the patenting process of the tomographic device; and iii) identification of the potential exploitation elements and analysis of the economic and environmental impact of the project results.

In summary, the results of the field tests performed with the new SHELL-THICK system (tomographic device + algorithms) developed in the project show the feasibility of the solution to enable imaging the billet inside and visualising the shell thickness or to detect surface defects, although a dedicated review and optimization of the device and algorithms is needed to improve its performance and convert it in a commercial product.

D5.3.Guidelines for the implementation of the SHELL-THICK system in other steel plants (June 2019)
Analysis of the transfer of the SHELL-THICK technology to other steel plants and recommendations for its implementation, based on the experience acquired during the project.

D5.2.Report on the field testing of the final industrial prototype (June 2019)
Description of the main activities and results achieved in WP5 whose main goal is the installation, field-testing and validation of the SHELL-THICK system at the Ferriere Nord (FENO) steelwork.

D5.1. Report on the field testing of the first industrial prototype (September 2018)
Description of the main activities and results achieved in WP5 (at the time of writing the report), whose main goal is the installation, field-testing and validation of the SHELL-THICK system at the Ferriere Nord (FENO) steelwork.

First periodic report (March 2018)
This report describes the main activities and results obtained during the first 18 months of the project. The major part of the effort in this period has been focused on:
1. The design, development and testing of a laboratory prototype of the tomographic system (tomographic device + tomographic algorithms).
2. The design and development of prototype of the tomographic device for the industrial process based on the results obtained at the laboratory level and with in-field tests to support its design.
3. The implementation of a first version of the SHELL-THICK application including the software tools for the metallurgical length calculation and the surface defects detection.
4. The CFD simulation of the steelmaker partner industrial continuous casting process to support the design and validation of the tomographic system.

Following, the main results in each one of the four active technical workpackages is described:
WP1. Requirements and Specifications: i) preliminary specification of the new tomography device (16 coils fixed to a square structure surrounding the billet, 4 coils at each side); ii) definition of the scope for the tool to detect surface defects and potential fails of the process: rhombicity, bulging, surface and corner depressions and cooling heterogeneities in the corners and sides; and iii) preliminary specification of the GUI of the final application (configurable as much as possible to display the best information for the operators/technicians needs).

WP2. Requirements and Specifications: i) development of a laboratory prototype of the tomography system that can be used to test the algorithms for the image reconstruction; and ii) the results of different tests of the laboratory prototype show: the Magnetic Induction Tomography technology is able to detect the change both in the internal structure and in the external shape .

WP3. Development of the system for an industrial process: i) development of a first version of a prototype of the tomography device for the industrial process ready to be installed; ii) first version of the model to predict the metallurgical length taking into account the information of the shell thickness provided by the system iii) first version of the tool to detect surface defects and fails related to a heterogeneous cooling in the corners and sides, based on the analysis of the external and the internal contours to be provided by the tomographic system; and iv) a first version of the SHELL-THICK application and its GUI.

WP4. Modelling of the Industrial process solidification for validation of the new system: i) selection of the tests case cases that will be used for the validation of the new system: 2 steel grades with two casting speeds for each (the maximum, 3m/min, and the average speed, 2.65m/min); ii) CFD model for the simulation of the steelmaker partner industrial continuous casting process. This model has been validated with temperature measurements of the billet and with a macro-etch of a slice to analyse the final position of the solidification end; iii) information about metallurgical length and shell thickness at some positions of the strand for one of the steels, and analysis of the influence of the casting speed in the metallurgical length.

D4.2. Report on CFD model results (Final release) (March 20018) and D4.1. Report on CFD model results (Intermediate release) (September 20017)
Description of the CFD model for the simulation of the steelmaker partner industrial continuous casting process and information about metallurgical length and shell thickness at some positions of the strand for two steel grades with two casting speeds for each (the maximum and the average speed.

D3.2. Report on the tool to detect defects/fails (March 2018)
Description of the first version of the tool to detect surface defects and fails related to a heterogeneous cooling in the corners and sides, based on the analysis of the external and internal contours to be provided by the tomographic system.

D3.1. Report on the industrial prototype (device + tomographic algorithms + metallurgical length model + GUI) (March 2018)
Description of the first version of the tomography device for the industrial process, the metallurgical length model, the SHELL-THICK application and its GUI.

D2.2. Results of the laboratory testing of the prototype (August 2017)
Results of different tests of the laboratory prototype showing: i) the Magnetic Induction Tomography technology is able to detect the change both in the internal structure and in the external shape , and ii) a significant variation of the electrical conductivity due to the change of state, between solid and liquid, of a low melting point alloy.

D2.1. Report on the laboratory prototype (device + tomographic algorithms + laboratory facility) (31st March 2017)
Description of the first laboratory prototype (device, electronics and tomographic algorithms) of the SHELL-THICK application.

D1.1. Document on system specifications (30th September 2016)
Specifications of the new components (hardware + software) of the SHELL-THICK application.

D6.1. State of the Art (30th September 2016)
Updated overview of the state of the art in Magnetic Induction Tomography.