Electric furnace matte tap hole developments at Falconbridge Limited
Planned increases in electric furnace productivity and higher matte temperatures needed for the Sudbury Smelter's SO2 Abatement Plan, require an improved matte tap hole. Since startup in 1978, the matte tap holes have been incrementally improved by the addition of copper cooling blocks around the refractory tap blocks. These improvements provided a tap block life of about 100 taps per campaign.
In July 1993, a prototype matte taphole was installed in Number 2 Electric Furnace to develop the technology to increase tap hole service life. The design was based on a heat transfer model of the tapping process to determine candidate refractory materials and cooler arrangements. The prototype tap hole features increased copper cooling, high conductivity refractories and extensive instrumentation. Eight trial campaigns are reviewed outlining the performance of silicon carbide and graphite refractories and typical heat loads during tapping.
Smelters, Falconbridge, Tap hole developments, Matte tap holes.