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ArticleName Some terms and concepts in non-ferrous metallurgy
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.04.02
ArticleAuthor Korol Yu. A.

Yu. A. Korol, Metallurgical Engineer, Ekaterinburg, Russia, e-mail:


In metallurgy, as in any other industry, there are historical terminology, concepts and names of the processes, aggregates and facilities, which do not always accurately reflect or correspond to things that they define Thus, Russian scientists and engineers have always considered the term “convertor” in non-ferrous industry not to be the concept of material transformation process (cast iron into steel), as in iron and steel industry, but to be definition derived from the design of the convertor — rotating (turning) barrel (cylindrical ring) to be used. And that is why the word “convertor” had been written with letter “o” in most Russian-language technical literature up to 2000s. The emergence of office software including the automatical text edition function in our life and users' lack of historical and technical knowledge have resulted in widespread spelling of the horizontal convertor in non-ferrous industry with the letter “e”. The program “Word” corrects text by default on the basis of the installed dictionary which, in the author's opinion, is wrong and misrepresents the essence of the name regarding the processes in non-ferrous industry. In order to preserve long-standing traditions it is correct the horizontal convertor related to processing of copper, nickel, copper-nickel and polymetallic matte and concentrate to be spelled with “o”. A similar situation exists with the name of convertor in non-ferrous industry “Peirce – Smith”. The author considers that the convertor for processing of copper, nickel, copper-nickel and polymetallic matte must be named after its true inventor French scientist in the fields of metallurgy Manhès or, at most, taking into account his partner “Manhes – David”, as it is used in all Frenchlanguage publications. Scientists in the fields of metallurgy William H. Peirce and Elias A. C. Smith have offered the design of the convertor at the time that fundamentally differed from the one that had expanded worldwide. And they can not entitle to the design of modern convertor by no means. In the meantime, at the trial William H. Peirce and Elias A. C. Smith have managed to protect their rights to the technology of copper matte conversion at low temperature using “cold” additives and preliminary applying magnetite skull on the convertor lining. For this reason, it is eligible to name this technology of blister copper extraction as the process “Peirce – Smith”. This article reviews the historical development of converting process in nonferrous industry and interprets abovementioned terms and concepts used in the converting copper, nickel, copper-nickel and polymetallic matte in a correct historical perspective. After learning the converting in practice, the author had emphasized the personal role of the inventors of processes and facilities that actually presented quite poorly in the modern technical literature. The relationship and sequencing of elaboration and adoption of decisions related to copper matte converting are also mentioned the article.

keywords Convertor, converting, converter, matte, melting, refractory lining, horizontal convertor, vertical convertor

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