MORE DURABLE LINING
FOR HORIZONTAL COPPER-NICKEL CONVERTERS
V. V. Slovikovskii
and A. V. Gulyaeva
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 11, pp. 39 – 42, November, 2013.
Original article submitted May 24, 2013.
Results are presented from a study of the durability of the lining of horizontal converters and the reasons for
the short service life of the lining’s tuyere zone. The article describes new designs of tuyere-zone linings and
new tuyere blocks developed on the basis of the study results. Technologies have been developed for making
periclase-chromite tuyere blocks and a heat-conducting bulk refractory which is resistant to slag-matte melts.
The blocks are made using a fused material that has a high content of Cr
. The durable new lining was tested
and introduced on converters at the Alaverdinsk Mining-Metallurgical Combine and Ufalei Nickel Plant. The
new linings last 1.5 – 2.0 times longer than the linings used previously.
Keywords: lining, copper-nickel converters, tuyere block, periclase-chromite refractory, tuyere belt,
slag-matte melt, wastes from granite production.
The lining of copper-nickel converters is the least dura-
ble lining in nonferrous metallurgy. Its short service life is
due to the severe conditions to which the lining is subjected
in such furnaces. The limiting factor in the life of the con-
verter lining is the durability of the lining’s tuyere zone,
which consists of three subzones: the tuyere belt; the zone
above the tuyeres (7 – 12 courses); the zone below the
tuyeres (1 – 2 courses). All three subzones have traditionally
been lined with periclase-chromite refractory PKhS
5 – 17,19. The short life of the lining of the tuyere zone can
be attributed to the following factors:
– thermal shocks that the lining undergoes when it is
contacted by the slag-matte melt;
– thermal shocks that occur at the “air/refractory/slag-
matte melt” interface during the blow (the temperature gradi
ent ranges within 20 – 1200°C);
– bubbling of the air-melt system and consequent ero
– the large mechanical forces which develop in the lin
ing from the reactive pressure of the furnace’s metal shell;
– spalling which takes place due to the difference be
tween the properties of the original part of the lining and the
– the formation of low-melting compounds (of the olivi
nite-monticellite type) in the refractory-melt system; these
compounds are washed off by the slag-matte melt;
– percussive mechanical loads created during charging
of the converter;
– high temperatures in the region of the blast (1400 –
– penetration of the joints in the tuyere belt by the melt,
which sometimes leads to burn-through of the lining and
emergency shutdown of the converter.
Figure 1 presents a diagram of the conventional lining
used in converters. The lining is composed of periclase-chro
mite (grade PKhS) refractories and the tuyere belt is formed
with runner brick (also grade PKhS). The lining is installed
dry. It last 40 – 50 days in copper converters and up to
5 – 15 days in nickel converters, which is extremely short.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that many valuable
metals (copper, nickel, lead, and gold) are lost together with
the worn lining during the frequent repairs that are made.
Existing empirical data was used to determine the main
goals that should be pursued in research in order to make the
lining of copper-nickel converters more durable. The first
objective was to develop a technology for making dense,
heat-resistant refractory products of a special shape for the
tuyere belt. The second goal was to develop and perfect a
technology for making corrosion-resistant fused granular
refractories from a charge containing chemically pure Cr
from fused materials. The third goal was to develop a lining
system that is based on the use of highly durable refractory
products, bulk refractories, and mortars.
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 54, No. 6, March, 2014
1083-4877/14/05406-0463 © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, Russia.