The emergency collecting pit is a safety device and is arranged in front
of (below) each water-cooled electro-melting and holding furnace. After
an accident in the furnace, and if all safety devices and/or control
mechanisms have malfunctioned, the emergency collecting pit must be in a
position to receive the entire contents of the furnace, and at the same
time effectively prevent any contact of molten metal with cooling water.
At 20 o'clock, 19th August 2007, a severe accident happed in Weiqiao
Aluminium Casting Plant in Shandong Province, China, about 30 tons of
molten aluminium flowed outside from the furnace, and contact the water in
circulation water tank, caused explosion, 14 people were killed, and 59
people hurt, and extensive structural damage to the facility resulted.
Metal-water explosions (also called steam explosions) in aluminum and
other metal-casting have caused numerous injuries and fatalities (and
associated damage/destruction of infrastructure) during the past 50 years.
The lesson from these cases is that there is a high risk of injury or
death at these workplace if there is no preventative solution.
The emergency collecting pit is the solution to avoid such risk.