Typical Wear Phenomena Observed on Refractories out of the Copper Peirce-Smith Converter and Copper Anode Furnace

Additonal authors: Reinharter, K.. 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

Gregurek, D.

Copper smelting furnaces are typically lined with magnesia-chromite refractories, which are exposed to multiple and complex stresses. The selection of the processing route, furnace type and slag system will be dictated by the specific ore type available, this will determine the individual refractory wear. This paper evaluates the common refractory wear mechanisms as observed in the copper Peirce-Smith converter and in the copper anode furnace. The chemical factors include corrosion caused by fayalite type slag and sulfur supply, as well as, by Cu-oxide attack. Changes in the temperature during the furnace operation (thermal-shock) create stresses in the brick lining which can only be absorbed in limited extent. Mechanical factors include erosion, caused primarily by the movement of the metal bath, slag and charging material, as well as, stresses in the brickwork due to punching. Finally improper lining procedures can also effect the service life. All these wear parameters lead to severe degeneration of the brick microstructure and a decreased lining life. Therefore, a detailed investigation and understanding of the wear mechanisms through “post mortem studies” together with thermochemical calculations by FactSageTM software is an important prerequisite for the refractory producer. Based on these research results, combined with specific process knowledge, appropriate brick lining solutions for copper processing furnaces can be recommended. INTRODUCTION The refining of copper includes converting of matte or black copper into blister copper for final fire refining process in the anode section. Typically Peirce-Smith (PS) converters are in use. Other technologies include Hoboken Converter, TBRC but also Flash Converting Furnace and bath smelting furnaces (ISA, Ausmelt) (Davenport et al., 2002). For fire refining two types of furnaces are used – the rotary furnace type is dominantly used in the primary production route while secondary smelters tend to use hearth refining furnaces which are more suitable for scrap melting. Installed working linings are based on magnesia-chromite bricks but especially in the anode refining section the application of alumina-chromia bricks have become more popular in the recent years. It comes without saying that, to some extent, large variations in the slag composition can be observed from the data provided to RHI Magnesita during post-mortem studies of used refractory samples and this needs to be addressed properly during the selection process of refractory linings.77
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019