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Metals 2017, 7(8), 305; doi:10.3390/met7080305

Inspection of Prebaked Carbon Anodes Using Multi-Spectral Acousto-Ultrasonic Excitation

1
Aluminium Research Centre—REGAL, Département de Génie Chimique, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
2
Aluminium Research Centre—REGAL, Département de Génie Civil, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
3
Alcoa Primary Metals Smelting Center of Excellence, Québec, QC G0A 1S0, Canada
4
Aluminium Research Centre—REGAL, Département de Génie des Mines, de la Métallurgie et des Matériaux, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
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Abstract

Reduction cell operation in primary aluminum production is strongly influenced by the properties of baked anodes. Producing consistent anode quality is more challenging nowadays due to the increasing variability of raw materials. Taking timely corrective actions to attenuate the impact of raw material fluctuations on anode quality is also difficult based on the core sampling and characterization scheme currently used by most anode manufacturers, because it is applied on a very small proportion of the anode production (about 1%), and long-time delays are required for lab characterization. The objective of this work is to develop rapid and non-destructive methods for the inspection of baked anodes. Previous work has established that sequential excitation of smaller parts collected from an industrial sized anode using acousto-ultrasonic signals at different frequencies allowed detecting and discriminating anode defects (pores and cracks). This was validated qualitatively using X-ray computed tomography. This work improves the method by using frequency-modulated excitation and building quantitative relationships between the acousto-ultrasonic signals and defects extracted from tomography images using Wavelet Transforms and Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression. The new excitation approach was found to provide similar or better inspection performance compared with sequential excitation, while requiring a shorter cycle time. View Full-Text
Keywords: baked carbon anode; non-destructive testing; acousto-ultrasonics; primary aluminum smelting; PCA; PLS baked carbon anode; non-destructive testing; acousto-ultrasonics; primary aluminum smelting; PCA; PLS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ben Boubaker, M.; Picard, D.; Duchesne, C.; Tessier, J.; Alamdari, H.; Fafard, M. Inspection of Prebaked Carbon Anodes Using Multi-Spectral Acousto-Ultrasonic Excitation. Metals 2017, 7, 305.

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