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ArticleName The tuyere in a protective shell to convert the nickel and copper mattes
DOI 10.17580/nfm.2018.02.01
ArticleAuthor Korol Yu. A., Naboychenko S. S.

JSC “Russian Copper Company”, Ekaterinburg, Russia:

Yu. A. Korol, Vice President, e-mail:


Ural Federal University Named after the First President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin, Yekaterinburg, Russia:
S. S. Naboychenko, Visiting Professor at the Department of Non-Ferrous Metals


The wide spread of the process of converting for recycling of copper, copper-nickel and nickel mattes, it determines the relevance of finding ways to improve the design of converters and, especially, the protection of refractory lining. The reducing of specific costs for receiving the oxygen and getting the high capacity of oxygen plants give more opportunities for recycling of raw material and melting of solid metals in the melt, and this is for its part stimulates the design of convertors with long-term companies in an aggressive environment. The promising direction is the using of the tuyeres in a protective shell from the higher pressure air, inert gas (nitrogen, argon), natural gas or steam-air mixtures. In our country, the realization of this direction in iron industry has started in the middle of the last century after publishing and conducting experimental work by I. P. Bardin, S. G. Afanasiev, M. M. Shumov, Z. D. Epstein and N. I. Mozgovoy. Abroad, the tuyeres in a protective shell at first were implemented by Guy Savard and Robert Lee (Canada). In nonferrous industry first experimental works were conducted in 80-s for the industry of lead, nickel and copper. Nowadays in China, the processes with the tuyeres are using in more than 40 plants and the Chinese experts infuse this technology (SKS) in new plants under constration. The main distinctive feature of SKS is the implementation of the air and nitrogen in high pressure, what makes it possible to refuse of the using of the mechanisms and devices for cleaning of the tuyeres and also the using of the air blasting, enriched in oxygen. In our country the using of the tuyere in a protective shell (TPS) was first implemented at the plant “Yuzhuralnickel” in the 80-s. The implementation of this equipment on 13 converters allowed to stabilize the work of converter area, increase by several times the campaign of converters and improve their operating conditions. The feature of TPS at the plant “Yuzhuralnickel” is the applying of the conditions of the air blasting and low pressure protective environment (0.06–0.12MPa) without a fundamental and costly changes in the design of operating converters. The experience of the applying such construction let to specify the protection mechanism of refractory lining in conditions of aggressive melt of sulphides of non-ferrous metals with oxygen air blasting and using nitrogen, steam, vapor-air and high pressure air as a protective environment. Conducted research and developed methodology with a mathematical model allowed to create the recommendations for copper-nickel converters, equipped with TPS for practical using in every specific working conditions.

keywords Converter, nickel matte, tuyere, tuyere in a protective shell, melt temperature, refractory lining, sullage, matte, natural gas, nitrogen, nickel, cobalt, copper

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