Volume 88, Number 2, October 2009
Article Number 24001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 03 November 2009
EPL, 88 (2009) 24001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/88/24001

Experimental model of the interfacial instability in aluminium reduction cells

A. Pedchenko1, S. Molokov1, J. Priede1, A. Lukyanov2 and P. J. Thomas3

1   Applied Mathematics Research Centre, Coventry University - Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK, EU
2   Department of Mathematics, University of Reading - Whiteknights, PO Box 220, Reading RG6 6AX, UK, EU
3   Fluid Dynamics Research Centre, School of Engineering, University of Warwick - Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK, EU

received 10 August 2009; accepted in final form 2 October 2009; published October 2009
published online 3 November 2009

A solution has been found to the long-standing problem of experimental modelling of the interfacial instability in aluminium reduction cells. The idea is to replace the electrolyte overlaying molten aluminium with a mesh of thin rods supplying current down directly into the liquid metal layer. This eliminates electrolysis altogether and all the problems associated with it, such as high temperature, chemical aggressiveness of media, products of electrolysis, the necessity for electrolyte renewal, high power demands, etc. The result is a room temperature, versatile laboratory model which simulates Sele-type, rolling pad interfacial instability. Our new, safe laboratory model enables detailed experimental investigations to test the existing theoretical models for the first time.

47.65.-d - Magnetohydrodynamics and electrohydrodynamics.
52.30.Cv - Magnetohydrodynamics (including electron magnetohydrodynamics).

© EPLA 2009