A Numerical Approach for the Design of Anode Beam Mechanical Systems
Anode beam mechanical systems play an active role in the operation of modern aluminum reduction cells by enabling the anode bridge vertical displacement, and consequently, control of the anode-cathode distance. At the most basic level, however, they transfer motion from actuators to the anode beam while transmitting anode panel loads to the superstructure’s fixed beam. Said loads depend not only on the mass of both suspended anodes and crust but also on operational procedures: while the total suspended weight varies from startup to steady-state operation, weight distribution varies throughout the anode cycle. Different anode setting patterns yield different load distributions and significant dynamic loads arise from beam movements. An approach for the analysis and design of anode beam mechanical systems was developed using ANSYS™-based numerical simulation and in situ measurements. A test case is presented and the impact of increased anode weight, selected operational procedures and design details is discussed.