A two-dimensional (2-D) heat transfer and solidification model has been established and applied to calculate the temperature distribution and solid shell thickness profile of a continuous casting slab in a steel plant. A finite difference method was used for the numerical simulation. For thermal analysis, the 2-D slice unsteady-state heat conduction equation with enthalpy convention was used. Meanwhile, non-linear material properties of specific heat and thermal conductivity as well as phase changes during solidification were considered in the model. The temperature distribution and solid shell thickness calculated by mathematical model agree with those predicted by industrial and experimental measurements. The model could also be used to predict the optimum process parameters on casting speed, heat removal rates and the water distribution of secondary cooling zone.