Journals →  Non-ferrous Metals →  2018 →  #2 →  Back

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

1. Zakharov B. N., Vorobev V. A. Blast smelting of oxidized nickel ores and converting of nickel mattes. Moscow : Metallurgiya, 1974. 168 p.
2. Pimenov L. I., Mikhaylov V. I. Processing of oxidized nickel ores. Moscow : Metallurgiya, 1972. 336 p.
3. Smirnov V. I., Tseydler A. A., Khudyakov I. F., Tikhonov A. I. Metallurgy of copper, nickel and cobalt. Vol. 2. Moscow : Metallurgiya, 1966. 406 p.
4. Shalygin L. M. About the ways of the converter conversion improving in nickel production. Ways to improve nickel production on the base of the new technique and technology application. Moscow : TsNIIN TsM, 1965. 208 p.
5. Arsentev P. P., Kvitko M. P. Converter process with bottom blast. Moscow : Metallurgiya, 1983. 128 p.
6. Features of converters with bottom blowing-down. Ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy. Available at :

7. Steel refining. Metal — information articles. Available at :
8. Conversion processes with combined blowing-down. — Online Assistant. Available at :
9. Converter processes with bottom oxygen blow. Metallurgy. Available at :
10. Baptizmanskiy V. I. Mechanism and kinetics of processes in converter bath. Moscow : Metallurgizdat, 1960. 284 p.
11. Converter processes with bottom oxygen blow. Industry. Business directory. Available at :
12. Basic Oxygen Furnace: Equipment. Heat Treat Technologies. Energy Solutions Center. Available at :
13. Kudrin V. A. The oxygen using in steelmaking. Proceedings of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. Moscow : Metallurgizdat, 1957. pp. 214–232.
14. Bardin I. P., Afanasev S. G., Shumov M. M., Epshteyn Z. D. Application of oxygen in converter steelmaking. Moscow : Metallurgizdat, 1959. 264 p.
15. Mozgovoy N. I., Afanasev S. G., Shumov M. M. et al. Converting of high-phosphorous cast irons. Proceedings of Central Research Institute of Ferrous Metallurgy. Moscow : Metallurgizdat, 1956. Issue. 16. pp. 229–230.
16. Kapusta J., Lee R. G. H. The Savard-Lee shrouded injector: a review of its adoption and adaptation from ferrous to non-ferrous metallurgy. Copper 2013 : proceedings of international conference. Santiago, 2013. Vol. III (Book 2). pp. 1115–1151.
17. Bustos A. A., Kapusta J. P. High Oxygen Shrouded Injection in Copper and Nickel Converters. The Brimacombe Memorial Symposium : proceedings. Montreal : The Metallurgical Society of CIM, 2000. pp. 107–124.
18. Bustos A. A., Cardoen M., Janssens B. High oxygen enrichment at UM-Hoboken converters. Copper 95 – Cobre 95 : proceedings of international conference. Vol. IV. Pyrometallurgy of Copper. Montreal : The Metallurgical Society of CIM, 1995. pp. 255–269.
19. Bustos A. A., Kapusta J. P., Macnamara B. R., Coffin M. R. High Oxygen shrouded injection at Falconbridge. Copper 99 – Cobre 99 : proceedings of international conference. Vol. VI. Smelting, Technology Development, Process Modeling and Fundamentals. Warrendale : The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society of AIME, 1999. pp. 93–107.
20. Kapusta J. P., Stickling H., Tai W. High Oxygen Shrouded Injection at Falconbridge: Five Years of Operation. Converter and Fire Refining Practices. Warrendale : The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society of AIME, 2005. pp. 47–60.
21. Salt B., Cerilli E. Evolution of the Converter Aisle at Xstrata Nickel’s Sudbury Smelter. The International Peirce-Smith Converting Centennial Symposium : proceedings. Warrendale : TMS, 2009. pp. 135–149.
22. Salt B., Cerilli E. Converter aisle improvements at Xstrata Nickel’s Sudbury smelter. The Pyrometallurgy of Nickel and Cobalt Symposium : proceedings of the 48 th conference of metallurgists. Montreal : The Metallurgical Society of CIM, 2009. pp. 333–349.
24. Kaixi Jiang, Lan Li, Yaping Feng, Haibei Wang, Bang Wei. The Development of China’s Primary Copper Smelting Technologies. T. T. Chen Honorary Symposium on Hydrometallurgy, Electrometallurgy and Materials Characterization : proceedings. Warrendale : The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society of AIME, 2012. pp. 167–176.
25. Baojun Zhao, Zhixiang Cui, Zhi Wang. A New Copper Smelting Technology — Bottom Blown Oxygen Furnace Developed at Dongying Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals. The Fourth International Symposium on High-Temperature Metallurgical Processing : proceedings. Warrendale : The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society of AIME, 2013. pp. 3–10.
26. Kapusta J., Valencia N. C. et al. Energy Consumption in Copper Smelting: A new Asian Horse in the Race. JOM: The journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. 2015. Vol. 67, Iss. 5. pp. 1066–1074.
27. Tsemekhman L. Sh., Ezhov E. I., Pevzner M. I. et al. Autogenous smelting of sulphide copper-nickel ores with the use of oxygen-enriched blast immersed into the melt. Pyrometallurgical processes in the nickel and cobalt engineering : proceedings. Leningrad : Gipronikel, 1978. Iss. 8. pp. 21–24.
28. Nedvetskiy E. P., Khomchenkov B. M., Arefiev K. M., Tsemekhman L. Sh. Some regularities of operation of the oxygen tuyeres with protective nitrogen coating. New directions in the nickel pyrometallurgy : proceedings. Leningrad : Gipronikel, 1980. Iss. 8 (72). pp. 49–56.
29. Korol Yu. A., Naboychenko S. S., Gulyaev S. V. Use of natural gas in tuyeres with protective coating. Tsvetnye Metally. 2018. No. 7. pp. 46–50. DOI: 10.17580/tsm.2018.07.07
30. Korol Yu. A., Naboychenko S. S. Calculation of a lance in a protective shell for the conversion of nickel and copper matte and recommendations for its application. Tsvetnye Metally. 2018. No. 5. pp. 23–32. DOI: 10.17580/tsm.2018.05.04
31. Galnbek A. A., Barsukov N. M., Rusakov M. R., Ezhov E. I., Nedvetskiy E. P. Features of the liquid purging by a tuyere with protective envelope. Pyrometallurgical processes in the nickel and cobalt engineering : proceedings. Leningrad : Gipronikel, 1987. pp. 57–62.
32. Barsukov N. M., Korol Yu. A., Rusakov M. R., Galnbek A. A., Pashkovskiy A. A., Pronin A. F. Processing of nickel matte in horizontal converters with tuyeres in the containment. Tsvetnye Metally. 1992. No. 3. pp. 12–13.
33. Korol Yu. A., Naboychenko S. S. Improvement of the method of depletion of converter slags by the phase mixing method. Tsvetnye Metally. 2018. No. 8. pp. 37–44. DOI: 10.17580/tsm.2018.08.04
34. Korol Yu. A., Naboychenko S. S., Gulyaev S. V. The practice of using tuyeres in a protective layer in copper converting. Tsvetnye Metally. 2018. No. 6. pp. 14–20. DOI: 10.17580/tsm.2018.06.02
35. Reznik I. D., Ermakov G. P., Shneerson Ya. M. Nickel. Vol. 2. Moscow : Nauka i tekhnologii, 2001. 467 p.
36. Esin O. A., Geld P. V. Physical chemistry of pyrometallurgical processes. Part 1 : Reaction between gaseous and solid phases. Sverdlovsk : Metallurgizdat, 1962. 672 p.

Full content The tuyere in a protective shell to convert the nickel and copper mattes