Investigating the Origin of Non-Metallic Inclusions in Ti-Stabilized ULC Steels Using Different Tracing Techniques

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External Organisational units

  • Christian Doppler Laboratory for Inclusion Metallurgy in Advanced Steelmaking, Leoben
  • voestalpine Stahl Linz GmbH


Since steel cleanness comes to the fore of steel producers worldwide, it is necessary to understand the formation mechanism and modification of non-metallic inclusions (NMIs) in more detail. One central point is the identification of the source of especially interfering NMIs to prevent their evolution in the future. The present study applies two approaches to determine the source of NMIs in Ti-stabilized ultra-low carbon (ULC) steels—the active and the passive tracing. Both approaches are applied to an industrial experiment. The active tracing technique is focused on investigating the clogging layer formation in submerged entry nozzles and, hence, the origin of alumina particles. This method adds rare earth elements (REEs) directly to the melt to mark pre-existing deoxidation products at a certain point of the steelmaking process. The main concern of the passive method, the so-called REE fingerprint, is the determination of the source of mesoscopic NMIs. For the REE fingerprint, the pre-existing concentration of REEs in different potential sources and the investigated NMIs are measured by using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). The resulting patterns are compared after normalizing the contents to chondrites, and the NMIs’ origins are identified. Concerning the EDS analysis and the resulting patterns from the REE fingerprint, the mold slag and, respectively, the casting powder were the sources of the investigated NMIs.


Original languageEnglish
Article number103
Number of pages16
JournalMetals : open access journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024