Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant put into operation an anode straightening machine

Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant put into operation an anode straightening machine

Under the ambitious process reconstruction program being implemented at Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant (UMMC Group), the anode straightening machine (Advanced Dynamics Corp) has been put into operation at the zinc cellhouse. The cost of Canadian equipment amounted to as much as 1.2 mln Euro.  

The major product of the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant is Special High Grade zinc with 99. 995% zinc purity, produced by electrolysis. Electrolysis is a process by which electric current is passed through a zinc-bearing electrolyte in an electrolytic cells consisting of special plates-anodes and cathodes. At this time, zinc is deposited at the cathodes and then sent to the smelter, and oxidation reaction takes place at the anodes. Due to impurities in the solution, there may be a threat of dissolution of the anode, which, of course, will affect the quality of the cathode zinc deposition. The cleaner and smoother the surface of the anode, the better the electrolysis process proceeds and the better the final product is. Therefore, the anodes must be cleaned and straighten every 20-40 days. For this purpose, the anode straightening machine is used.

Weight of a lead silver anode is 275 kg, the surface is 3.9 m2. Total 81 anodes are inside the cell. Such anodes are transferred by a crane in 4 lifts to the anode straightening machine. No help of operators is required for placement of anodes in special seats. The distance between the grooves is calibrated to a millimeter, and the special rod firmly fixes the anode bodies. No special cleaning agent is used, as even minimum impurity can cause adverse chemical reaction. The anode is straightened by two 8 bar air cylinders.

“The old machine could straighten 400 anodes per day, the new one - twice as much, 830 anodes per day, - said Denis Chemeryazev, the head of the zinc cellhouse. - Besides, the additional option of anode rod straightening was added, and anode body cleaning was improved, it became automatic. Thus, we can clean the entire anode stock (which is 16, 524 pieces) for 20 days".