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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


KONING, A.. Fundamentals of designing refractory linings for hydrometallurgy autoclaves. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2013, vol.113, n.8, pp.643-646. ISSN 2411-9717.

Pressure hydrometallurgy operations require vessels to be lined with an impermeable membrane for corrosion protection and one or more courses of refractory or ceramic brick. Examples of unit operations that utilize composite lining systems include pressure oxidation autoclaves, sulphide precipitation autoclaves, chloride leach reactors, flash vessels, cyclone separators, and direct contact condensers (heater vessels and quench vessels). The refractory lining must satisfy multiple requirements: it must thermally insulate the membrane from process fluid, be structurally stable, provide erosion resistance, be chemically compatible with process fluid, and provide an economic service life. New hydrometallurgical processes are pushing the pressure, and temperature with each new generation of plants. A fundamental understanding of all factors affecting the mechanical stability of the lining system is essential as lining designs move further away from the industry's experience base. The method of designing a refractory lined vessel is examined taking into account the impact of irreversible chemical swell, operating factors, design factors, and installation factors. The effect of geometry and incorporating additional degrees of freedom to the analysis is explored using two-dimensional and three-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA). The effect of these additional degrees of freedom on the results of the one-dimensional model are discussed.

Keywords : refractory lining design; autoclave; finite element analysis.

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