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Historic Aluminum Smelting Industry in Rapid Decline in US

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Smelter worker Chris Morales of Wenatchee, Washington, remembers the day he learned he was being laid off - via a text message on a day off. "It is a feeling of surprise, panic," he said. "Now what? My wife has a good job; I'm fortunate for that. But still, I was counting on Alcoa, which has been around for years."
Sixty-four years here in Wenatchee, in fact. The American company now known as Alcoa was the first to commercialize aluminum production more than 100 years ago. That industry eventually employed tens of thousands of workers around the US. But aluminum smelting is now in steep decline domestically, and while Alcoa insists it will still make aluminum in the Pacific Northwest, many laid-off workers, like Morales, have doubts. He recalled the advice he got from plant managers: "something along the lines of, 'You need to go find another job.'"
So he is moving on, hoping service as a volunteer firefighter will turn into a career position.

Hu…

The Aluminum Production Process—from Art To Science

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Throughout the years since its invention in 1886, the industrial aluminum production has developed from art to science. Steadily increased understanding of the process has been achieved as a result of extensive research and development work, particularly in the latter half of the twentieth century, both in aluminum plants and in several universities and academic institutions. During monitoring and intervention of the process, the cell operators are constantly faced with decision-making situations. Theoretical and practical training of the operators and their supervisors and superintendents give them the skills and knowledge needed to improve steadily cell operation and work practices. The overall electrochemical reaction for industrial production of molten aluminum may be written as follows: This reaction is simple and shows that the two main raw materials are alumina and carbon and that there are two chemical products, molten aluminum, which we want, and gaseous CO2, which…

Century Aluminum Company (CENX) Trading Up 5.9%

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Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ:CENX)’s share price was up 5.9% during trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $14.74 and last traded at $14.62. Approximately 3,193,129 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 36% from the average daily volume of 2,350,000 shares. The stock had previously closed at $13.81.
A number of equities analysts have recently commented on CENX shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Century Aluminum from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Century Aluminum from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co lowered shares of Century Aluminum from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price target for the stock from $22.00 to $14.50 in a report on Monday, October 30th. Cowen and Company set a $16.00 price target on shares of Century Aluminum and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Sunda…

How an aluminum smelter is made

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In an aluminum smelter usually we find several hundred pot, housed in one or more large buildings called potrooms. Inside the potroom the cells are electrically connected in series. This means that the cathode of a cell is connected with the anode rod of the next cell downstream. The electrical connection of one cell to the next one is made with a complicated system of aluminum bars with cross sectional areas suitable to transport the so high currents used with minimum voltage drops. In the most recent smelters the cells are arranged in a side by side configuration, which makes easier to lessen the adverse effects of the magnetic fields. In older smelters it’s easy to find also the end-to-end configuration.
As we have seen, a cell for its basic functioning needs alumina, carbon anodes and electrical current. In an aluminum smelter, hence, together with the potroom, we find other buildings and sub plants which deliver to the potroom carbon anodes, alumina and electrical c…

Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (NASDAQ:KALU) Trading Up – Insiders Selling, Short Interest Growing

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Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (NASDAQ:KALU) has been the object of insider selling activity recently. Director Carolyn Bartholomew disclosed the sale of 1,000 shares of (KALU). The shares were purchased at an average price of $99.00. The Director now owns $1,321,056 of the stock according to the SEC filing. Mark Krouse, VP let go of $144,750 worth of shares at an average price of $96.50 on August 2nd. That brings Krouse’s holdings to $620,785 as recorded in a recent Form 4 SEC filing.
Ray Parkinson, VP – Advanced Engineering disclosed the sale of 1,800 shares of KALU stock. The shares were sold on July 24th for an average price of $97.45. Parkinson now owns $954,913 of the stock per the Form 4 SEC filing.
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, launched on February 20, 1987, manufactures and sells semi-fabricated specialty aluminum mill products. It operates in the Fabricated Products segment. Fabricated Products segment focuses on producing rolled, extruded and drawn aluminum products used princip…

Red Deer artist's quirky work inspires creation of hot rod club

Butch Henry of Red Deer is a hot rod builder and an artist.
Three years ago he put his artistic talents to use and made a one-off car club plaque to give his 1929 Model A hot anode rod an air of authenticity. He didn’t realize that plaque would inspire the creation of the Outkasts Car Club of Red Deer. The club fashioned itself after traditional custom car groups who simply hung out together, cruised together, and helped each other build their vehicles.
“My art is pretty low key and it only occupies about two per cent of my life,” Henry says with a laugh from his Red Deer home. “I do a bit of hot rod pin striping and I paint pictures of hot rods on canvas using one-shot sign painter’s enamel – that baffles the hell out of what I call ‘real’ artists.”
He also carves Tiki totems, both large and small, some for home decoration and others as gearshift knobs. The bigger Tikis are carved from Alberta poplar, while many of his gearshift knobs are carved from harder Manitoba maple.
“I’m self taug…