Long tradition in converter technology

SMS group has a long tradition in converter technology. The portfolio of converter processes is widely spread and mainly depends on the specific requirements of the metallurgical process. The most commercially important form is the treatment of molten metal sulfides to produce crude metal and slag, as in the case of copper and nickel converting.

We offer units such as Top Blown Rotary Converter (TBRC), Kaldo Converter, Peirce-Smith Converter as well as tailor made solutions such as Vacuum Converters. Additionally our solutions also includes technologies from the steel making departments such as lancing and purging systems, sampling solutions and advanced process automations. In the future, the SIS injection and burner system will also find its application to eliminate bottom and sidewall purging systems, tuyeres as well as top lances.

Top blown rotary converter – TBRC and Kaldo

Developed in the 1930s, the top blown rotary converter (TBRC) smelt and convert a variety of primary and secondary raw materials to extract Cu, Ni, Zn, Pb, Sn, and other valuable metals. Furthermore, this type of converter is ideal for smelting higher-quality electronic waste. The rotation of the vessel provides the ideal heat transfer and reaction for the refining and smelting processes and is therefore one of the most flexible refining units for these applications. More than 40 reference plants (including the first and the largest reference for WEEE recycling) were so far installed by the SMS group.


  • High rotating speed of up to 20 rpm
  • Multiple lance and burner systems for better process efficiency
  • Optional exchange vessels
  • Optional taphole in the cone or bottom section for metal-free slag tapping
  • Active vessel cooling for input material with higher organic content
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TBRC furnaces

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When the metallurgical process does not require large tilting angles and flexibilities in operation, we can also offer furnaces with lower rotation speed and a simplified tilting mechanism such as the TBRR (Top Blown Rotary Refining) unit. This unit is less capital intensive and requires less maintenance, but offers an easy and efficient charging system for solid charging material. Additionally we offer slower rotating holding furnaces for the holding and treatment of certain metals and metals alloys

Peirce-Smith converter

The Peirce-Smith converter from SMS group is the next logical step in converting – a new solution that implements numerous improvements. This reactor type is still the most widely-applied process for blister or black copper production. It is also commonly used in nickel and PGM production lines. Conversion takes place during the slag-blowing stage as well as in separate final converting phases.

SMS group has added special features that not only improve process efficiency and vessel availability but also guarantee a longer converter life:

  • Improved lining in the tuyere zone, mouth, and offgas offtake areas
  • Supersonic injection tuyeres with higher oxygen levels, generating less offgas for smaller gas treatment plants
  • Prolonged refractory lifetime
  • Optimized automation with BlueControl
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The supersonic injection system represents a significant improvement for Peirce-Smith converters and allows a deeper penetration of the bath with finer bubbles. This enhances the gas/liquid interface and with it the metallurgical reactions. This means that shorter tap-to-tap times, lower gas consumption, and a longer lining service life are achieved.

Hamburg-based Aurubis AG successfully installed new converters in 2019, which were supplied by SMS group and are used to produce blister copper, in order to strengthen and consolidate its global position as an integrated copper group and one of the world’s largest copper recyclers. With regard to planning, SMS group utilized 4D engineering, linking the 3D design with a detailed time schedule for the dismantling of the existing converters and the erection of the new ones. Our experts coordinated the transportation to the company’s site.



SMSgroup Lux, Timm

Timm Lux

SMS group GmbH
General Manager Non-Ferrous Metals
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 881 3822