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Metals 2017, 7(9), 374;

Investigation of the Frozen Bath Layer under Cold Anodes

Aluminum Research Centre—REGAL, Département de Génie Civil et de Génie des Eaux, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Aluminum Center of Excellence, Aluminerie de Deschambault, Alcoa Corporation, 1 Boul des Sources, Deschambault-Grondines, QC G0A 1S0, Canada
Aluminum Research Centre—REGAL, Département de Génie des Mines, de la Métallurgie et des Matériaux, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Aluminum Center of Excellence, Alcoa Technical Center, Alcoa Corporation, 859 White Cloud Road, New Kensington, PA 15068, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Hall-Héroult cell stability is highly affected by anode changing operations. Upon the insertion of a cold anode in the cell, a layer of molten cryolite freezes under the anode. The thickness, microstructure, and chemical composition of this layer vary as a function of time and its location in the cell. To better understand the evolution of the frozen layer, mandatory for the validation of numerical models, a measurement campaign was conducted on the anodes having a few hours of operation in the cell. The macrostructure of the selected frozen bath samples has been investigated using computed tomography while scanning electron microscope (SEM) has been used to qualify its microstructure. An energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscope (EDS) coupled to the SEM has revealed the chemical content. The results showed not only very different macrostructures between samples, but also significantly heterogeneous structure within the same sample. Nevertheless, for all samples, there is a clear distinction between the frozen cryolite and alumina/dusting phases, with the latter surrounding the cryolite matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: cryolite; anode; computed tomography; microstructure; anode changing cryolite; anode; computed tomography; microstructure; anode changing

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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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Picard, D.; Tessier, J.; Gauvin, G.; Ziegler, D.; Alamdari, H.; Fafard, M. Investigation of the Frozen Bath Layer under Cold Anodes. Metals 2017, 7, 374.

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