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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Print version ISSN 0038-223X


REYNOLDS, Q.G. The dual-electrode DC arc furnace-modelling insights. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2011, vol.111, n.10, pp. 697-704. ISSN 0038-223X.

The dual-electrode direct current (DC) arc furnace uses two graphite electrodes, one connected as cathode and one as anode. Such an arrangement avoids some of the design difficulties associated with the anode hearth traditionally used in single-electrode and twincathode DC furnaces, but can introduce other design and operational difficulties including deflection of the arcs toward the furnace walls. Counter-intuitively, both arc jets in a dual-electrode furnace travel from the electrode down to the bath surface, despite carrying electric current in opposite directions-this is suggested in the theory of the governing equations of arc formation, and confirmed by experiments using high-speed photography. The dualelectrode arc system at small pilot-plant scale is studied using a transient magnetohydrodynamic model capable of predicting arc deflection and interaction from first principles, and the results are compared to the behaviour of twin-cathode systems at similar power. Finally, a simple arrangement of the furnace busbars, M configuration, is shown to provide some passive protection against arc deflection.

Keywords : pyrometallurgy; furnace; DC; reverse polarity; dual-electrode.

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