Innovative Solutions in Non-Ferrous Metals Production

Additonal authors: Lux, T.. 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

Degel, R.

Non-ferrous metals find their applications in smartphones, tablets and computers. These materials with their particular properties are the basis of our modern life. SMS group is well prepared for this huge market and for growing future challenges. A large contribution here is the new joint venture PolyMet Solutions that was founded by SMS group and Mettop, an Austrian engineering company, with the objective to develop new technical solutions for the primary copper production lines as well as for non-ferrous metals starting with the primary smelting of concentrate and ending with the electrolysis. PolyMet Solutions provides the process know-how whereas SMS group supplies the plants and equipment and Mettop the key components. SMS group and Mettop also cooperate in the field of tankhouse technology. Together with Montanwerke Brixlegg AG, Mettop has developed together with a parallel flow technology (METTOP-BRX Technology), allowing a current efficiency of above 98 % at a current density of 420 A/m², which is a milestone in copper electrolysis. For the secondary copper production route, SMS group and PolyMet Solutions developed an innovative refining furnace (PolyRefine) for the smelting and refining of copper scrap. The refined copper is directly charged to the Contirod line to produce copper rods and wires. The innovative cooling solutions of SMS and PolyMet Solutions come into play where furnaces have to stand the highest loads and stresses, for instance in areas of very high temperatures or temperature fluctuations, aggressive exhaust gases and slags, or at critical spots such as taphole areas. Custom-tailored cooling systems for furnace vessels make sure varying loads are compensated in a targeted and effective manner. The solutions include air cooling, spray cooling, cooling technologies with integrated copper elements such as CFM (Composite Furnace Modular) cooling systems, plate and finger coolers. The major innovation in the field of furnace cooling is the ILTEC (Ionic Liquid Cooling) Technology which paves the way for increased plant safety. This revolutionary, patented cooling technology is jointly marketed by Mettop and SMS group. It permits water-free cooling to be implemented and thus makes operation safe wherever it is applied. INTRODUCTION Non-ferrous metals or NF metals are changing the world. There is no modern industrial sector that can do without these valuable metals. Non-ferrous metals find their applications in smartphones, tablets and computers. These materials with their particular properties are the basis of our modern life. The importance of the non-ferrous metals market is reflected by two figures. In 2018, the production of non-ferrous metals was worth more than 237 billion Euros. This contrasts with 255 billion Euros of the value of iron and ferro- alloy production in the same year (International Organizing Comittee for the World Mining Congresses, 2018). Hence, the NF metal industry is almost as important as the iron and steel industry. SMS group is well prepared for this huge market and for growing future challenges. A large contribution here is the new joint venture PolyMet Solutions that was founded by SMS group and Mettop, an Austrian engineering company, with the objective to develop new technical solutions and to enhance customer value. The prices of nearly all metals have come under pressure during the past few years. Therefore, competitive technologies are regarded a crucial factor to achieve success in this critical market situation respectively to stabilize the market position.
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019
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