Alumina scale composition and growth rate in distribution pipes
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionThe Minerals, Metals & Materials Series. 2019, 697-706. 10.1007/978-3-030-05864-7_86
Scaling in distribution pipes for secondary alumina is a major issue in aluminium smelters. The scale is formed inside the distribution pipes, and gradually reduces the cross section that is available for alumina transport. The scale cannot be removed without dismantling the transport pipes and using chemical and/or mechanical treatments. This leads to interruptions in normal operation, requires additional labour, and a stock of additional pipe sections. To get a better understanding of the scale formation mechanisms, the rate of scale growth was monitored by acoustic measurements in a transport pipe section at an aluminium producing plant over a period of several months. Correlation between growth rate, and recorded parameters from the associated pots, fume treatment system and meteorological data were studied. In addition, samples from the actual scale were examined by SEM, TEM and AFM to investigate the microstructure and chemical composition.