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An Evaluation of Used Aluminum Smelter Potlining as a Substitute for Fluospar in Cupola Ironmelting.

Spironello VR; Nafziger RH
MISSING :14 pages
The Bureau of Mines is conducting studies of the slags related to ferrous technology to evaluate acceptable substitutes for the auxiliary flux, mineral fluorspar, in foundry operations. Comparative basic practice cupola (18-inch-id) trials were made to evaluate a waste material called "used potlining," which contains significant levels of fluorine, sodium, and aluminum in various compounds. Used potlining is recovered from alumina reduction cells after its useful life, and was supplied by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) to the Bureau for evaluation. The material in the lump and pelletized form (with limestone) provided extremely fluid slags based on visual observation during cupola operation. No adverse effects were found on cupola performance, metal and slag chemistry, the environment, or mechanical properties of the castings produced. Fluorine recovery in the slag was equal to, or higher than, that of fluorspar; fluorine losses to the scrubber water and solids were lower. The acidity of the scrubber water was somewhat neutralized. No difference was observed in furnace-refractory attack, as determined by the level of magnesia in the slag and visual inspection. The recovery of sodium in the slag, presumably as the oxide, significantly increased slag fluidity, suggesting that less than equivalent fluorine may be required. There was no contamination of the gray iron by the aluminum from the used potlining. Used potlining was completely satisfactory as a substitute for fluorspar in cupola ironmelting.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
RI 8530
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Page last reviewed: November 19, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division