The paper describes research and development of aluminium melt refining technology in a ladle with rotating impeller and breakwaters using numerical modelling of a finite volume/element method. The theoretical aspects of refining technology are outlined. The design of the numerical model is described and discussed. The differences between real process conditions and numerical model limitations are mentioned. Based on the hypothesis and the results of numerical modelling, the most appropriate setting of the numerical model is recommended. Also, the possibilities of monitoring of degassing are explained. The results of numerical modelling allow to improve the refining technology of metal melts and to control the final quality under different boundary conditions, such as rotating speed, shape and position of rotating impeller, breakwaters and intensity of inert gas blowing through the impeller.
The gas porosity is one of the most serious problems in the casting of aluminum. There are several degassing methods that have been studied. During smelting of aluminum, the intermetallic compound (IMC) may be formed at the interface between molten aluminum and solid steel of crucible furnace lining. In this study, the effect of degassing treatment on the formations of IMC has been investigated. The rectangular substrate specimens were immersed in a molten aluminum bath. The holding times of the substrate immersions were in the range from 300 s to 1500 s. Two degassing treatments, argon degassing and hexachloroethane tablet degassing, were conducted to investigate their effect on the IMC formation. The IMC was examined under scanning electron microscope with EDX attachment. The thickness of the IMC layer increased with increasing immersion time for all treatments. Due to the high content of hydrogen, substrate specimens immersed in molten aluminum without degasser had IMC layer which was thicker than others. Argon degassing treatment was more effective than tablet degassing to reduce the IMC growth. Furthermore, the hard and brittle phase of IMC, FeAl3, was formed dominantly in specimens immersed for 900 s without degasser while in argon and tablet degasser specimens, it was formed partially.
This paper deals with the possibilities of using physical modelling to study the degassing of metal melt during its treatment in the refining ladle. The method of inert gas blowing, so-called refining gas, presents the most common operational technology for the elimination of impurities from molten metal, e.g. for decreasing or removing the hydrogen content from liquid aluminium. This refining process presents the system of gas-liquid and its efficiency depends on the creation of fine bubbles with a high interphase surface, uniform distribution, long period of its effect in the melt, and mostly on the uniform arrangement of bubbles into the whole volume of the refining ladle. Physical modelling represents the basic method of modelling and it makes it possible to obtain information about the course of refining processes. On the basis of obtained results, it is possible to predict the behaviour of the real system during different changes in the process. The experimental part focuses on the evaluation of methodical laboratory experiments aimed at the proposal and testing of the developed methods of degassing during physical modelling. The results obtained on the basis of laboratory experiments realized on the specific physical model were discussed.