Thermo-mechanical modeling of snouts deformation
The snout is the last element which connects the annealing furnace with the zinc bath on Hot Dip Galvanizing
line. The main role of the snout is to prevent oxygen atoms to access and damage the steel surface before
entering into the zinc pot. Snout-end deformation is today the main reason of snout end-of-life. It generates air
leaks, leading to defects generations as non-coated spots. ArcelorMittal R&D developed 3D thermo-mechanical
models of industrial snout-ends. Models take into account the industrial snout lifetime, i.e. the successive
heating and cooling phases during the snout emersions and immersions in the zinc pot. Boundary conditions
were determined thanks to specific measurements at laboratory and on industrial plant. The model shows that
the main origin of the snout deformation are the temperature gradients between immersed and non-immersed
parts, and the dilatation generated during the snout immersion. The creeping effect appears to be negligible.
During heating phase like during the cooling, strong compressive stresses appears in the snout walls leading
to cracks occurrence and buckling of the snout walls. In all cases, the level and mode of deformation depend
strongly on the snout design and fixation system of the snout lower part. This model has been used to define
and to test the actions (snout design and/or operating procedure modifications) which limit and control the
snout deformation and to evaluate their impact.