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Open AccessArticle

Metallothermic Al-Sc Co-Reduction by Vacuum Induction Melting Using Ca

IME Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: IME Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, Intzestr. 3, 52072 Aachen, Germany.
Metals 2019, 9(11), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9111223
Received: 9 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
Due to its enhancing properties in high-tech material applications, the rare earth element Scandium (Sc) is continuously gaining interest from researchers and material developers. The aim of this research is to establish an energy and resource efficient process scheme for an in situ extraction of Al-Sc master alloys, which offers usable products for the metallurgical industry. An AlSc20 alloy is targeted with an oxyfluoridic slag as a usable by-product. The thermochemical baseline is presented by modelling using the software tool FactSage; the experimental metal extraction is conducted in a vacuum induction furnace with various parameters, whereas kinetic aspects are investigated by thermogravimetric analysis. The Sc-containing products are analyzed by ICP-OES/IC concerning their chemical composition. Optimum parameters are derived from a statistical evaluation of the Sc content in the obtained slag phase. The material obtained was high in Ta due to the crucible material and remarkably low in Al and F; a comparison between the modelled and the obtained phases indicates kinetic effects inhibiting the accomplishment of equilibrium conditions. The formation of a Sc-rich Al-Sc phase (32.5 wt.-% Sc) is detected by SEM-EDS analysis of the metal phase. An in situ extraction of Al from Ca with subsequent metallothermic reduction of ScF 3 as a process controlling mechanism is presumed. View Full-Text
Keywords: scandium; master alloys; aluminum alloys; metallothermy; vacuum induction melting; factsage scandium; master alloys; aluminum alloys; metallothermy; vacuum induction melting; factsage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brinkmann, F.; Mazurek, C.; Friedrich, B. Metallothermic Al-Sc Co-Reduction by Vacuum Induction Melting Using Ca. Metals 2019, 9, 1223.

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