Advances in continuous monitoring of water-cooled tapblocks for pyrometallurgical furnaces

CIM Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2013

P. Gebski, A. Sadri, W. L. Ying Hatch, Sheridan Science and Technology Park, Mississauga, ON D. George-Kennedy, C. Nexhip, D. Krippner, and R. Kaur Kennecott Utah Copper Smelter (KUCS), Magna, UT

Water-cooled tapblocks are essential components of modern smelting furnaces. Uninterrupted operation of a tapblock is critical for the optimal operation of a furnace. This critical function, together with exposure to extreme conditions, drives the need for an efficient and reliable means for tapblock monitoring. The main objective of tapblock monitoring is to help optimize the life of the tapblocks by better scheduling inner refractory relining and protecting operators by preventing sudden deterioration of the tapblock. A taphole acoustic monitoring (TAM) system was developed to meet the above requirements. This paper describes the principles of the TAM system and selected case studies.
Keywords: Taphole, Flash furnace, Monitoring, Electric furnace, Copper smelting, Non-destructive testing (NDT), Acoustic Emission (AE), Refractory wear, Tapping, Predictive maintenance