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Manuscript submitted September 8, 2013.
Transition metal impurities (V, Ti, Zr, and Cr) reduce the electrical conductivity of smelter grade aluminum. These impurities are removed in the form of their borides by reacting with added Al-B master alloys i.e., boron treatment. Although, boron treatment is widely used for the production of high purity aluminum alloys in casthouse the fundamental understanding is lacking and published industrial data are limited. In the current study, industrial trials on the removal of impurities were conducted at one of the high purity aluminum alloys producers in Australasia. Kinetics analysis revealed that the rate of reaction is controlled by the mass transfer of impurities in the bulk melt. The measured mass transfer coefficient (k m) of V and Ti were 1.1 × 10−4 and 2.6 × 10−4 m/s respectively, in the naturally stirred molten aluminum. The rate of V and Ti removal was faster compared to Zr and Cr during the boron treatment of smelter grade aluminum. Mass balance analysis revealed that 70 wt pct of V and Ti combined as borides in the first hour of the total 12 hours of boron treatment process. The calculated amount of un-reacted B was approximately 25.5 wt pct of initial amount added that remained in the final alloy. There was no evidence of boride rings formation, although partially dissolved AlB12 particles were observed under scanning electron microscope. Finally, implications for industrial practice are discussed for the improvement of current boron treatment process that include changing the source of boron, multiple stage addition of boron and better stirring of the molten aluminum.
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- Removal of Vanadium from Molten Aluminum—Part III. Analysis of Industrial Boron Treatment Practice
Muhammad Akbar Rhamdhani
Geoffrey A. Brooks
- Springer US
in-adhesives, MKVS, Hellmich GmbH/© Hellmich GmbH, Zühlke/© Zühlke