Oxygen control during copper rod casting
More than half of the worldwide copper demand is for cast and rolled copper wire rod, and used as the starting product for the electrical and electronics industry. World standard are the CONTIROD and HAZELETT concaster systems where copper rod is continuously cast, then shaped to wire. To ensure the overall end product quality, the copper's oxygen content must be controlled at individual steps, at certain check points along the continuous process line. The oxygen content of copper is decisive for internal and external quality of the as-cast rod and as-rolled wire.
Where both, access to the liquid metal is difficult but sufficient immersion depth are given, such as in furnaces and ladles, the Heraeus Electro-Nite's disposable Celox-Cu sensor measures the oxygen content instantly within seconds. Where channnels and launders guide the liquid copper on its way to the crystallizing mould, our continuous oxygen sensor Concelox-Cu may favorably be applied. Concelox-Cu gives an online continuous oxygen measurement. Both sensors, Celox-Cu and Concelox-Cu cover with their precise oxygen measurement the full range of technically prevailing oxygen content in copper, starting from 0 up to 12.000ppm.
Customer benefits from sensor use are almost self-explainable. Whereas a copper sample takes at least 15 minutes to return the analysis result from lab to process line, the Heraeus oxygen sensors do the job either in seconds or continuously thus leaving line operators a much quicker decision to react (to intensify oxydation,or downpole oxygen) when oxygen is getting out of the tolerable oxygen specification. A much tighter oxgen range is thus matchable in the as cast, as -rolled product what is self-evident from the above said control speed. In terms of cost comparison for lab sample and sensor, the disposable sensor meets cost for sample taking and analysis. The continuous Concelox-Cu sensor with its service life of about 1 week beats the comparable cost for lab samples and analysis by far, sensor cost is just 15% of those for samples, as a continuous CONTIROD or Hazelett line would require at least 6 samples per day, minimum 2 samples per shift. In total: Celox-Cu operates cost neutral, Concelox much cheaper compared to sampling/analysis practice of the past. In addition, the amount of savings due to a better quality yield from better process control depend on each and every individual line condition; longer term in-plant statistics will prove.
Needless to say as well, that sensor application eliminates the hazardous sampling practice.