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Mining and primary metals

Cooling system on induction melting furnaces


Applications :
Corrective maintenance, cooling system cleaning, productivity gains

Background :
The electrolytic process at the heart of primary aluminium production demands a considerable amount of energy. This creates a need for the frequent replacement of anodes in electrolytic cells, as they rapidly wear out. Induction melting furnaces supply the electrolytic centres with ductile cast iron, which serves to seal anodes and cathodes in place in the electrolytic cells.

Results :

Resolved an overheating problem, thereby improving efficiency and providing productivity gains. These furnaces need rapid and efficient cooling in order to protect the integrity of their components. If cooling is inefficient, and furnace temperatures reach worrisome levels, the charge to the furnace must be reduced, decreasing productivity.
In this case, scaling problems had unbalanced the cooling system, forcing operations personnel to increase water flow, and thus pressure, in order to cool the furnace more effectively. This type of problem can worsen over time, as was the case here, which made an intervention necessary. GOTAR’s team of experts was called in to solve the problem.
 

Table 1: Temperature as measured at different points in the cooling system

Data for furnace #2
Data for furnace #3
Temperature before (ºC)
Temperature after (ºC)
Difference and gain (ºC)
Temperature before (ºC)
Temperature after (ºC)
Difference and gain (ºC)
38
36
- 2
38
32
- 6
72
52
- 20
68
51
-17
35
34
- 1
61
47
- 14
58
57
- 1
40
33
- 7

Table 1 demonstrates the effects of the cleaning operation in terms of temperature gains. In real world terms, the operation has allowed for use of the induction furnaces without constraints, eliminating time and productivity losses. The success of the operation and the gains observed have given birth to the following maintenance procedure: a single cleaning operation every two years with GOTAR’s unique products. This is sufficient to prevent the problems from recurring, allowing for optimal use of the induction furnaces and also reducing energy consumption.


Products :
Gotar-D500 (Gotar-D)

Keywords :
Induction furnace, corrective maintenance, cooling, scaling, water scale, aluminum, aluminium, electrolysis, heat transfer, Alcan, energy consumption Aluminum, aluminium, biodegradable, non-toxic, furnace, electrolytic cells, cast iron, temperature decrease
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