Casting furnaces play a central role in aluminum production and are the site of numerous interacting phenomena that take place in the combustion chamber and within the metal. For the analysis and design of the furnace, a mathematical model is useful. While the development of such a model can be a time consuming process, improved furnace performance may ultimately result.
Although aluminum producers are familiar with the importance of casting furnace technology and understand the complex nature of the many physical phenomena taking place therein, the modeling of such equipment and processing is not a simple task. Still, aluminum casting furnace modeling may prove to be the only economical alternative to costly plant tests or trial and error practices. The casting furnace receives liquid aluminum from the electrolytic cells, and brings it to the appropriate temperature for pre-casting preparation and casting. The furnace is also fed a charge of solid aluminum which is melted into the liquid metal; as a result, the furnace is frequently referred to as a "melter-holder." Pre-casting preparations include cleaning by the fluxing action of chlorine, alloying, and stirring and skimming to remove the dross at the liquid metal surface. Energy intensive, casting furnaces usually consume 4 to 6 MJ in melting one kilogram of aluminum. Of this amount, however, only about 20 per cent is expended on holding or melting the metal.
*Courtesy of IHS engineering 360