Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
GREYLING, F.P.; GREYLING, W. and DE WAAL, F.I.. Development in the design and construction of DC arc smelting furnaces. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2010, vol.110, n.12, pp. 711-716. ISSN 2411-9717.
The aspect of sustainability of ferroalloy processes has long been a serious matter for consideration in many of the world's industrialized countries. A number of countries can be named where ferroalloy plants that were once flourishing, have all but disappeared. One of the most important factors playing a role in this type of occurrence is the cost and availability of quality raw materials. Given that all natural resources will be depleted with time, users are compelled to develop new processes that are sustainable in the changing environment. The DC arc smelting furnace is one such process that has proved itself, and has gained increasing popularity over the past two decades. This process, amongst other benefits, directly addresses the use of more readily available and more affordable raw materials in ferroalloy production. Since early in the new millennium, GLPS has been involved in various studies for different clients of furnaces for the production of ferroalloys. Two of these recent studies have culminated in the design, construction and commissioning of DC arc furnaces for the production of ferrochrome. One of these furnaces is a 10 MW unit at Mogale Alloys, and the other a 60 MW unit at the Middelburg plant of Samancor Chrome. This paper discusses the approach taken in the design and construction of these two furnaces, which, although varying significantly in size and capacity, are very similar in many other aspects of their design.
Keywords : Furnace; DC arc; and ferrochrome.