The effect of surfactant Te on the behavior of alumina inclusions at advancing solid-liquid interfaces of liquid steel was studied by adding Te to liquid steel before Al deoxidation at 1873 K. After water-quenching, the spatial distribution homogeneity of alumina inclusions in the steel matrix was characterized using the Dirichlet tessellation method. The deterioration of this homogeneity with increasing the addition of Te indicates that Te facilitates pushing of alumina inclusions. This phenomenon was discussed based on the thermodynamics of an asymmetric thin liquid film confined by an advancing solid-liquid interface and a particle. The surface excesses of Te at the solid-liquid and particle-liquid interfaces were theoretically demonstrated to decrease when an alumina inclusion moves towards the solid-liquid interface, thereby weakening the effect of Te on the solid-liquid and particle-liquid interfacial energies. Based on this, effect of surfactants was incorporated in the models predicting the critical velocity VC.
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