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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


MCDOUGALL, I.. Sidewall design for improved lining life in a PGM smelting furnace. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2013, vol.113, n.8, pp.631-636. ISSN 2411-9717.

The matte/slag tidal zone in a nickel-copper-iron-sulphide matte smelting furnace is subject to severe process conditions that can lead to premature failure of the lining. The MgO-FeO-SiO2 slag is aggressive to refractory bricks, while the Ni-Cu-Fe-S matte is aggressive to water-cooled copper cooling elements, and can penetrate and sulphidize refractory bricks. A novel approach to the lining design was taken at a PGM smelting furnace, where an indirectly-cooled graphite ring was applied in the matte/slag tidal zone, with refractory bricks on the hot face. The graphite was cooled by the copper cooling elements in the slag zone, obviating the need for copper cooling elements in the tidal zone. In this paper the effectiveness of different lining designs utilizing varying degrees of cooling in the slag zone and slag/matte tidal zones is compared. In comparison to water-cooled copper in various configurations, cooled graphite shows promise as an indirect refractory cooling system in the tidal zone area of furnaces.

Keywords : PGM smelting; graphite; refractory lining; copper cooling elements; submerged arc furnace.

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