Reduction of Oxidative Melt Loss of Aluminum and Its Alloys

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This project led to an improved understanding of the mechanisms of dross formation. The microstructural evolution in industrial dross samples was determined. Results suggested that dross that forms in layers with structure and composition determined by the local magnesium concentration alone. This finding is supported by fundamental studies of molten metal surfaces. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data revealed that only magnesium segregates to the molten aluminum alloy surface and reacts to form a growing oxide layer. X-ray diffraction techniques that were using to investigate an oxidizing molten aluminum alloy surface confirmed for the first time that magnesium oxide is the initial ... continued below

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Das, Dr. Subodh K. & Ningileri, Shridas March 17, 2006.

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Description

This project led to an improved understanding of the mechanisms of dross formation. The microstructural evolution in industrial dross samples was determined. Results suggested that dross that forms in layers with structure and composition determined by the local magnesium concentration alone. This finding is supported by fundamental studies of molten metal surfaces. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data revealed that only magnesium segregates to the molten aluminum alloy surface and reacts to form a growing oxide layer. X-ray diffraction techniques that were using to investigate an oxidizing molten aluminum alloy surface confirmed for the first time that magnesium oxide is the initial crystalline phase that forms during metal oxidation. The analytical techniques developed in this project are now available to investigate other molten metal surfaces. Based on the improved understanding of dross initiation, formation and growth, technology was developed to minimize melt loss. The concept is based on covering the molten metal surface with a reusable physical barrier. Tests in a laboratory-scale reverberatory furnace confirmed the results of bench-scale tests. The main highlights of the work done include: A clear understanding of the kinetics of dross formation and the effect of different alloying elements on dross formation was obtained. It was determined that the dross evolves in similar ways regardless of the aluminum alloy being melted and the results showed that amorphous aluminum nitride forms first, followed by amorphous magnesium oxide and crystalline magnesium oxide in all alloys that contain magnesium. Evaluation of the molten aluminum alloy surface during melting and holding indicated that magnesium oxide is the first crystalline phase to form during oxidation of a clean aluminum alloy surface. Based on dross evaluation and melt tests it became clear that the major contributing factor to aluminum alloy dross was in the alloys with Mg content. Mg was identified as the primary factor that accelerates dross formation specifically in the transition from two phases to three phase growth. Limiting magnesium oxidation on the surface of molten aluminum therefore becomes the key to minimizing melt loss, and technology was developed to prevent magnesium oxidation on the aluminum surface. This resulted in a lot of the work being focused on the control of Mg oxidation. Two potential molten metal covering agents that could inhibit dross formation during melting and holding consisting of boric acid and boron nitride were identified. The latter was discounted by industry as it resulted in Boron pick up by the melt beyond that allowed by specifications during plant trials. The understanding of the kinetics of dross formation by the industry partners helped them understand how temperature, alloy chemistry and furnace atmosphere (burner controls--e.g. excess air) effected dross formation. This enables them to introduce in their plant process changes that reduced unnecessary holding at high temperatures, control burner configurations, reduce door openings to avoid ingress of air and optimize charge mixes to ensure rapid melting and avoid excess oxidation.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ID/13898
  • Grant Number: FC36-00ID13898
  • DOI: 10.2172/877410 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 877410
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc880911

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • March 17, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 1, 2016, 1:46 p.m.

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Das, Dr. Subodh K. & Ningileri, Shridas. Reduction of Oxidative Melt Loss of Aluminum and Its Alloys, report, March 17, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc880911/: accessed July 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.