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MeltFlow: Overview

A Family of Software Tools for Comprehensive Simulation of the Vacuum Arc Remelting (VAR) and Electroslag Remelting (ESR) Processes

  • Flow and Temperature Fields in a VAR Ingot of a Titanium Alloy With Magnetic Stirring  » Click to zoom ->

    Flow and Temperature Fields in a VAR Ingot of a Titanium Alloy With Magnetic Stirring

  • Electromagnetic, Flow and Temperature Fields in an ESR Ingot of a Nickel Alloy  » Click to zoom ->

    Electromagnetic, Flow and Temperature Fields in an ESR Ingot of a Nickel Alloy

The Vacuum Arc Remelting (VAR) and Electroslag Remelting (ESR) processes are used for the production of high-quality ingots of superalloys, high-performance steels, and titanium alloys. Due to the complexity of the processes, and high capital investments and operating costs, a trial-and-error based approach for process improvement is very costly.

The software tools MeltFlow-VAR* and MeltFlow-ESR* utilize advanced CFD techniques that have been developed specifically for a detailed analysis of the electromagnetic (DC in VAR, AC in ESR), fluid flow, heat transfer, and alloy element redistribution phenomena occurring in the VAR and ESR processes. Therefore, these software tools enable efficient and accurate prediction of pool evolution during the entire process, and the thermal history, distributions of alloy element concentrations, dendrite arm spacings, and freckle formation probabilities in the solidified ingot.

MeltFlow-VAR and MeltFlow-ESR are very easy-to-use and flexible. The user interface allows easy specification of the process geometry, operating conditions, and material properties. The results of analysis are visualized in a seamless manner using Tecplot - a powerful data visualization software.

Leading specialty metals companies are actively using these software tools for the refinement of the existing remelting processes and their scale-up to larger sizes. These productivity gains have resulted in very significant cost savings during process design and enabled manufacturing of ingots with improved chemical composition and metallurgical structure.

(*MeltFlow-VAR and MeltFlow-ESR were formerly called COMPACT-VAR and COMPACT-ESR respectively.)