Improved performance of Soderberg electrodes

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 88, No. 991, 1995

R.J. Ord, J.G. Schofield, Hatch Associates Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, and C.G. Tan*, Falconbridge Ltd., Falconbridge, Ontario

Most electric furnaces in the nickel and copper smelting industries are still fitted with conventional electrode holders which consist of water-cooled electrical contact clamps and a pressure ring. The water cooling exerts a significant cooling effect on the electrode column. The importance of controlling the temperature of the Soderberg electrode paste at the contact clamp area is examined, using in-plant experience and computer simulation of the paste melting and baking process. In addition to the effect of water-cooling, the effect of other variables, including the mantle air temperature, the electrode current, the furnace freeboard temperature and the electrode slipping rate are discussed. Ways in which the variable heating conditions in the paste melting zone can be controlled are outlined.
Keywords: Smelter operation, Soderberg electrodes, Electrode paste, Paste, Freeboard temperatures