Melting and refining furnacesMetallurgy
Various types of pyrometallurgical furnaces are being applied in the primary (ore based) and secondary (scrap based) non-ferrous metals production. The choice of the right technology strongly depends on the process requirements. The portfolio includes mainly shaft furnaces and shaft hearth furnaces for melting of spend anodes, copper cathodes and different copper qualities as well as drum-type furnaces as anode furnace for the refining of blister or raw copper and casting to anode copper or holding furnace for holding and casting of liquid copper, separation of slag and metal. In addition, we also supply Tilting Refining Furnaces (TRF) including elliptical refining furnaces (ETRF) for melting, refining and casting of copper scrap with possible additional liquid charging to anode or FRHC copper. Finally, the portfolio also includes ladle furnaces for the refining of liquid copper. All furnaces are characterized by the connection with charging systems, off-gas treatments, if required with purging, lancing and injection systems and are commonly powered by specific burners.
The refining of blister or raw copper in a drum type or tilting refining furnace coupled with a high precision casting wheel guarantees excellent plant efficiency of primary and secondary copper plants. SMS group supplies these fire-refining furnaces as an integrated solution. In the field of anode furnaces, a number of future-oriented features are implemented to increase process efficiency and reduce emissions. Our solutions include new charging and de-slagging systems as well as advanced furnace design resulting in shorter tap-to-tap times, better quality, lower oxygen levels in the product and reduced fuel consumption at lower emission levels.
Tilting refining furnaces (TRF) and elliptical tilting reefing furnaces (ETRF) are based on an improved scrap charging system and semi-automatic skimming that keeps the operators at a safe distance from the molten metal. They are designed for the melting, refining and casting of copper scrap in one flexible unit. The copper scrap is charged in form of bales or loose scrap via the charging doors or injected as fines.
Further, it is possible to charge liquid material via launders from recycling of lower grade material in a BlueSmelter or TBRC (Top Blown Rotary Converter). The units can also be offered “H2-ready”, enabling CO2- reduced copper production. The tilting furnace is also used for FRHC (Fire Refined High Conductive) copper production to partially replace cathodes by a fire refined semi product. By combining the tilting refining furnace with a casting wheel, high quality anodes are produced. The TRF is designed for large capacities up to 500 tons and the ETRF for capacities up to 100 tons.
Ladle furnaces are used for a wide range of applications in the steel and ferro-alloy industry and in some cases in the non-ferrous sector. SMS group developed new methods for refining of raw copper to produce anode copper. Possible areas of application in the non-ferrous world exist for PGM (Platinum Group Metals) and Nickel (Ni).
Ladle furnace technology has the advantage that fluxes and media can be injected into the metals simultaneously and bottom blowing can be applied. This opens up a wide range of opportunities for refining methods. In terms of availability, ladles are easily exchangeable compared to stationary vessels. Moreover, 100% of the offgas can be captured and now fugitive gasses escapes into the furnace building.
Vacuum furnaces are opening up new possibilities in the production of metals and alloys. The transfer of know-how from steelmaking to the non-ferrous metals processes is ongoing, and we are working intensively with our innovation department to take this forward. From a technological point of view, SMS group has an extensive background in vacuum treatment processes and equipment. Our units can operate at vacuum pressures below 0.001 bar creating a new inroad into the non-ferrous metals sector.
We offer shaft and hearth-shaft furnaces for efficient melting of different copper qualities. Our shaft furnace allows highly efficient melting of copper cathodes, anode residues, and high-grade copper scrap. The nozzle-mix burner system with single burner control and the optimized furnace geometry contribute to this high efficiency. The feedstock is charged into the shaft with a skip hoist. Burners are mounted radially around the lower shaft section and provide the melting energy. The waste gases are guided upwards through the shaft to pre-heat solid scrap in the upper part. The liquid copper can be fed to the subsequent process step by means of a ladle or launder. Typical applications can be found in brass mills, rod mills and anode casting plants.
Additionally, the hearth shaft furnace is equipped with a hearth that allows holding and deslagging of the liquid copper. As a result, medium-quality scrap can also be used. The molten copper is transferred via launders to refining furnaces. The focus for a hearth-shaft furnace lies on continuous operation and a high daily capacity of up to 1,000 tons.