Utilizing an Injection Molding Process to Create Edging for Starter Sheet Blanks Used in a Conventional Tankhouse

Additonal authors: Read, Weldon. 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

Morrism Tracy T.

Edging for starter sheet blanks used in conventional copper refineries has always been problematic for getting the edging to seal and adhere to the titanium material used for the blank so that copper is prevented from plating under the edging and cause undo problems in getting the copper sheets to separate from the blanks. A method was developed at the Amarillo Copper Refinery utilizing an injection molding process that better adheres the edging material to the titanium that makes the harvesting of starter sheets much easier to the point that robots are now used to strip with and which holds up very well to the unforgiving physical nature of the electroplating process. It is believed that this technology could be successfully utilized for permanent cathodes as well. INTRODUCTION ASARCO LLC (Asarco) was organized in 1899 as the American Smelting and Refining Company. Originally a consolidation of several lead-silver smelting companies, it evolved over the years into an integrated producer of primary non-ferrous metals, including copper, lead and zinc and associated co- products (Marcosson, 1949). Grupo México, S.A.B. de C.V acquired Asarco in 1999. Today, Asarco is a vertically integrated producer of primary refined copper and associated co-products such as gold, silver, molybdenum, selenium and tellurium. Asarco operates three open-pit mines and mills and two solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) plants all in Arizona plus a copper smelter in Arizona and a copper refinery in Texas. Figure 1 illustrates how the copper metal comes out of the ground at the mine and ends up as a refined product at the refinery. The copper refinery in Texas is known as the Amarillo Copper Refinery (ACR) and is located in Amarillo, Texas. It was built in 1975 to replace 3 other aging refineries and was designed to produce 550,000 tons (500,000 MT) of refined copper per year using conventional starter sheet technology. At the time it was commissioned it was the largest tankhouse in the world at just under 1/2 miles long under one roof.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019