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|One of the problems that is occasionally encountered during the continuous casting of DIN 1.4003 stainless steel (hereafter referred to as 1.4003) is the side bulging effect, a problem that is generally prevalent in ferritic stainless steels. This occurs because the unconstrained narrow sides of the solidification shell are not able to withstand the ferrostatic pressure once the strand has emerged from the mould. Coupled with side bulging, there is strand width variation at high temperatures, i.e. when the steel is in the ferrite-austenite dual phase region. Both of these dimensional changes to the slab profile create some processing problems in subsequent hot rolling operations when unacceptable width variations are encountered. The strength of the solidification shell and its ability to withstand the ferrostatic pressure during continuous casting is dependent on its thickness and phase composition when exiting from the mould up to a few metres downstream. From the study of the high temperature metallurgical behaviour of this steel, it was observed that a thicker solidification shell when exiting from the mould and a higher austenite volume fraction in the steel would be favourable for the reduction of the side bulging effect during continuous casting. It was also found that as long as the d-ferrite to austenite phase ratio keeps fluctuating due to variations in chemical composition and process control in the dual phase region from cast to cast, the strand width variation problem would probably persist. The remedy to this effect lies in more strict chemical composition and process control during continuous casting of this steel. The hot ductility experiments revealed that 1.4003 exhibits good hot ductility in the strand straightening temperature range with a minimum of 75 per cent reduction in area and this was attributed to the high volume fraction of ferrite (0.2 to 0.4) in the steel. This would provide a remedy to side bulging by increasing the secondary cooling rate of the strand in order to form a thicker solidification shell without necessarily risking transverse cracking and other surface defects during unbending. Keywords: side wall bulging, resistance bending moment, applied bending moment, ferrostatic pressure.|