Advanced Thermodynamic Modeling in the Pyrometallurgy – Refractory Corrosion Simulations

Additonal authors: Wagner, C.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Pichler, C.

Engineers and scientists have been combating the attack upon refractory materials of molten metals/matte and slags for hundreds of years. The details in many cases are still questionable or at least debatable. The corrosion is a major concern for furnace operators as refractory wear or failures inevitably results in reduced production efficiency and furnace reliability. Also the cost to industry is considerable and only a thorough understanding of all the complexities of the process will help to minimize that cost. One of the critical questions to overcome is the correct selection of refractories for the individual process steps to provide long and predictable refractory life together with high furnace availability. To understand the nature of the reactions involved in refractory corrosion, it is crucial to determine the complex thermo- chemical equilibria of the reactions occurring between the refractory materials and the process phases. A simulation model coupled with commercial software like FactSageTM is demonstrated aiming to understand the corrosion mechanisms between refractories and the molten process phases and draw implications for improving the performance of refractories and refractory lifetime. INTRODUCTION The extraction or recycling of valuable materials, e.g. metals, can be done by two main routes, pyro- and/or hydrometallurgical processing, depending on the chemical behavior of the used ore, scrap or pre-treated concentrate. Sometimes it is also necessary to use both process routes for the extraction or the recycling of valuable materials. In the case of a pyrometallurgical treatment, the usage of refractory materials is inevitable. This is mainly caused by high temperatures, prevailing during processing. The interaction between refractory material and slag, metal or matte leads to different reactions and interactions. As a main result corrosion of the furnace lining (refractory material) takes place. Hence, recurring furnace shutdowns occur for renewing the refractories. This leads to reduced production efficiency. Such refractory lifetimes are between some hours and decades, depending on the processes.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019