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A Scandinavian working group with members from Boliden Metall, Elektrokoppar, Gränges Metallverken, Outokumpu, and Jernkontoret has been working on problems related to copper cathode quality. One of the main initial problems was finding an accurate sampling method for cathodes. In order to investigate the distribution of impurities in a copper cathode, one representative cathode was cut into 100 pieces. Each piece was given a position number and melted to give an analyzable homogeneous sample. The results indicated that the most reasonable sample would be a vertical, 50 to 100 mm wide, strip from the center of the cathode. The method used to obtain the sample was named the Vertical Strip Method (VSM). This sampling method has been used several times when processing cathode lots to rod. Statistical calculations have shown good and significant correlation between the mean values for most of the elements. The number of cathodes taken for sampling can be as few as 4 to 6.
copper, sampling, cathodes, impurities, quality control
Quality Assurance Manager, Boliden Metall AB, Skelleftehamn,