REFRACTORIES IN HEAT UNITS
MODERNIZATION OF A SODERBERG ELECTROLYZER CATHODE UNIT
TO A HIGHER CURRENT STRENGTH (185 kA)
AND A LOWERED METAL LEVEL (25 cm)
I. Yu. Patrakhin,
A. V. Popov,
V. K. Frizorger,
D. V. Tkachenko,
G. V. Arkhipov,
Yu. A. Popov,
and V. V. Pingin
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 11 pp. 14 – 16, November 2009.
Original article submitted September 7, 2009.
Two versions are considered for modernizing the construction of a type S-8BM Soderberg electrolyzer cath
ode unit, developed by the department of new technologies of the Engineering-Technological Center of OOO
Rus-Inzhiniring. Industrial tests show that both structures make it possible to lower the metal level from 50 to
25 cm and to increase the current strength from 174 to 185 kA without worsening the technical and economic
indices of electrolyzer operation. The anticipated risk of anode overheating connected with descent of the an-
ode deeper into the cathode shaft, and also creation and support of an acceptable shape of the work space as a
result of lowering the metal level and increasing the current strength during the operating period does not de-
Keywords: Soderberg electrolyzer, cathode unit, modernization, cathode lining.
In the last few years in the Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant
there has been a gradual increase in the current strength in
S-8BM type Soderberg electrolyzers approximately from
159 to 174 kA (Fig. 1). Here the construction of the
electrolyzer cathode has remained fundamentally unchanged.
A typical construction of a cathode lining for a series
electrolyzer is presented in Fig. 2. The main disadvantages of
the cathode construction of this unit in operation with an in
creased current strength are the requirement of operating at a
high metal level (up to 50 cm), destruction of the side lining
and escape of melt to the side. Attempts to lower the metal
level of series electrolyzers in an experimental section led to
a series of problems with the side lining.
In order to create the possibility of a further increase in
current strength (up to 186 kA, and operating with a lowered
metal level (25 cm) the department of new technologies of
the engineering technological center of OOO Rus-Inzhini
ring developed two versions of modernized cathode unit of
an S-8BM electrolyzer. Preliminary computer modelling of
both versions showed that both structures may operate with a
current strength of 185 kA and a metal level of 25 cm with
provision of a suitable working space shape (WSS). In order
to test both versions of the cathode unit construction in the
test section of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant four
electrolyzers were installed (two electrolyzers each for each
version of cathode unit modernization).
Both versions of modernized lining construction of the
S-8BM type electrolyzer are shown in Fig. 3. In the modern
ized lining construction the following technical solutions
– use of monoblocks instead of paired blocks;
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 50, No. 6, 2009
1083-4877/09/5006-0397 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Engineering-Technological Center Branch of OOO Rus-Inzhi
niring, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
Fig. 1. Dynamics of change in current strength in Soderberg S-8BM