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Proceedings Paper

IR-based method for copper electrolysis short circuit detection
Author(s): Esa Makipaa; Juha T. Tanttu; Henri Virtanen
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Paper Abstract

In the copper electrorefining process short-circuits between the anodes and cathodes are harmful. They cause decreasing production rate and poor cathode copper quality. Short- circuits should be detected and eliminated as soon as possible. Manual inspection methods often take a lot of time and excessive walking on the electrodes can not be avoided. For these reasons there is a lot of interest to develop short-circuit detection and quality control. In this paper an IR based method for short circuit detection is presented. In the case of the short-circuited anode and cathode pair especially cathode bar becomes significantly warmer than bar in the normal condition. Using IR camera mounted on a moving crane these hot spots among the electrodes were easily detected. IR imaging was tested in the harsh conditions of the refinery hall with various crane speeds. Image processing is a tool to interpret the obtained IR images. In this paper an algorithm for searching the locations of the short-circuits in the electrolytic cell using imaging results as test material is proposed. The basic idea of the developed algorithm is first to search and calculate necessary edges and initial lines of the electrolytic cell. The second step is to determine the exact position of each cathode plate in the cell so that using thresholding the location of the short-circuited cathode can be determined. IR imaging combined with image processing has proven to be a superior method for predictive maintenance and process control compared to manual ones in the copper electrorefining process. It also makes it possible to collect valuable information for the quality control purposes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3056, Thermosense XIX: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications, (4 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.271630
Show Author Affiliations
Esa Makipaa, Tampere Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Juha T. Tanttu, Tampere Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Henri Virtanen, Outokumpo Harjavalta Metals Oy Copper Refinery (Finland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3056:
Thermosense XIX: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications
Richard Norman Wurzbach; Douglas D. Burleigh, Editor(s)

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