Title Increasing Refractory Life in a Pierce-Smith Converter Through Numerical Simulations
Thematic area Nonferrous Metallurgy
Presenter Mr. Alexandre Dolabella Resende
Authors Mr. Alexandre Dolabella Resende, Magnesita Refractories, Contagem - Brazil
Mr. Felipe Terra Elias, Magnesita Refractories, Contagem - Brazil

The converter, in copper metallurgy, is a reactor where molten sulfides (matte) are oxidized in order to obtain blister copper (99% Cu). The Pierce-Smith converter is the most common vessel for this process and its refractory wear and converting efficiency are strongly influenced by the flow pattern of the matte and the blown air. In this work, numerical simulations were performed to study the dynamics of gas injection under different tuyere line configurations. The influence of design variables such as the size, number and position of tuyeres was evaluated regarding the amount of bubble overlapping between tuyeres, blown air penetration, contact region between the air and matte and turbulence. By comparing these results, it was possible to improve the tuyere line design towards reduced refractory wear and enhanced converting efficiency of the vessel.