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Cl2-Free Aluminum Processing Technologies

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Cl2-Free Aluminum Processing Technologies

Bruno Maltais, Dominique Privé, Étienne Tremblay, Sociétés des Technologie de l’Aluminium du Saguenay Inc. (STAS) Chicoutimi, Canada

Track: BILLET PROCESS and EQUIPMENT - Metal Quality

ABSTRACT --- The elimination of chlorine for the treatment of molten
aluminum has always been a theme in the aluminum industry. Over the past
25 years, in collaboration with Alcan, STAS has designed and fabricated
numerous metal treatment technologies aimed at maximizing performances while
minimizing environmental impacts. The Treatment of Aluminum in Crucible
(TAC), and the Rotary Flux Injector (RFI), are both chlorine-free technologies for
pre-treatment and furnace metal treatment respectively. However, chlorine
utilization is still in use for in-line metal treatment in most casthouses, where high
metallurgical performance in terms of alkali removal and metal cleanliness are
needed. The Alcan Compact Degasser (ACD), a chlorine-based technology
developed during the 1990s, was successfully implemented with more than
150 units sold worldwide. Within the past few years, a sealed design for the ACD,
which excludes air from the enclosure has been adopted, and allows its operation
with argon injection only. While positive performance could be achieved in most
circumstances, the operation of a sealed ACD without chlorine does not
maximize the metallurgical performance, especially with regard to alkali and
inclusion removal. In collaboration with the Alcan Research & Development
Center, STAS has developed and introduced the aluminum industry to in-line
salt-ACD technology, an innovative approach for in-line metal treatment based on
the injection of a salt flux within the hooded area of the ACD. This allows for
complete elimination of chlorine use, while maximizing the metallurgical
performance at all steps in the process. With this technology, STAS offers a
complete portfolio of chlorine-free technologies for the treatment of molten
metal. This paper reviews the chlorine-free technologies available, with a special
emphasis on the new in-line salt fluxing ACD.

© Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation). All rights reserved. No part of The Proceedings may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the ET Foundation.