Electrode and Electrode Management Technology for Use on Base Metal Electric Furnaces

Additonal authors: Hansraj, R.. 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

Bantubani, S.

The requirements determining the design of the Söderberg electrode columns used in base metal applications are different to those of other industries. There is a strong trend to position the contact shoes above the furnace roof in order to reduce the risk of water leakages directly onto the furnace bath. Tenova Pyromet has adapted its proven electrode column design for application on base metal electric furnaces based on these requirements. The design modifications implemented as well as considerations regarding the overall electrode-roof-furnace arrangement are discussed. Equally important is the management of the Söderberg electrodes to prevent over or under baking. Tenova Pyromet has developed the AutoFurn™ furnace controller to not only optimise furnace operations, but to improve electrode management. An overview of the electrode management control philosophy implemented by AutoFurn™ is provided, focusing on intelligent electrode regulation, slipping and baking. INTRODUCTION Tenova Pyromet has developed an electrode system for use in base metal furnaces, which builds on the experience that Tenova has gained during the past 30 years with electrodes in the ferroalloy and base metals industries. In base metals applications, an important safety consideration is the minimization of water within the furnace and on the furnace roof. In addition, direct contact between copper equipment such as contact shoes and pressure rings and the contents of the furnace is discouraged. In a 3 phase AC furnace, three electrode columns transfer the electrical energy to the furnace bath. Both Söderberg and prebaked carbon or UHP graphite electrodes are in use in base metal furnaces. In each column, the electrode is held in position by a hydraulic slipping and regulating device, a pressure ring and contact shoes. The electrodes can operate in a submerged-arc or brush-arc configuration, where the electrode is immersed in the slag or a short distance above the slag (Mc Dougall 2013). The electrode equipment is divided into an upper and a lower electrode assembly. The self-baking Söderberg electrode is made from lengths of steel casings that are added to the top of the electrode column and welded into place. Carbon electrode paste is added to the inside of these casings and is baked to form a solid tip in the region of the contact shoes. The working platform that surrounds the area where new electrode casings are added, is electrically isolated from the building and each electrode is isolated from the others to ensure the safety of the personnel who perform the electrode casing additions.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019