Latest Development in Cathode Stripping Machines

Additonal authors: Nord, P.. 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

Larinkari, M.

Cathode stripping machine technology has been developed significantly both in electrorefining (ER) and electrowinning (EW) applications in the last ten years. The main driver has been robotic cathode handling, which has enabled increased flexibility to meet different layout and material handling requirements for both ER and EW processes. Additionally, cathode stripping stations have been continuously developed to optimize speed and to reduce mechanical stress of permanent cathodes. 'taco' type cathodes have been proven as beneficial approach for high capacity operations (particularly in Cu ER), where over 600 cathodes per hour continuous throughput has been achieved. However, the latest developments also apply to split type cathode stripping. Besides material handling, the modern cathode stripping machine has also an important role to provide information for production and quality monitoring. This paper describes the latest developments from the field of copper cathode stripping based on several different projects implemented in the recent years. INTRODUCTION After introduction of the permanent cathode technology in the late 1970s, it became the prevailing technology in copper refineries over the traditional starting sheet process by the end of 1980s. The main driver was less labour-intensive production due to fewer processing steps required along with more automated electrode handling equipment (cathode stripping machine, anode preparation machine, anode scrap washing machine and tankhouse cranes). Since then the design of the cathode stripping machine has followed the development of permanent cathode technology. The main development steps so far can be summarized as follows: Full Deposit Stripping Machine (FDSM) based on waxed permanent cathodes or cathodes with bottom edge strips resulting in split cathodes (copper sheets separated, see Figure 1) Wax less cathode stripping based on V-groove on bottom of the edge strip resulting in either ‘taco’ cathodes (enveloped copper sheets, see Figure 1) or split cathodes Full Deposit Robotic Stripping Machines (FDRSM) using 1–5 robots for permanent cathode handling and cathode stacking.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019