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High Temperature Material Processes: An International Quarterly of High-Technology Plasma Processes
SJR: 0.19 SNIP: 0.341 CiteScore™: 0.43

ISSN Print: 1093-3611
ISSN Online: 1940-4360

High Temperature Material Processes: An International Quarterly of High-Technology Plasma Processes

DOI: 10.1615/HighTempMatProc.v1.i1.10
pages 1-15

THE APPLICATION OF DC PLASMA-ARC TECHNOLOGY TO EXTRACTIVE METALLURGICAL PROCESSING

N. A. Barcza
Mintek, Private Bag X3015, Randburg, 2125, South Africa

ABSTRACT

Plasma-arc technology has been developed and applied in several metallurgical operations in South Africa over the past fifteen years. These include the production of ferrochromium, titania slags, and pig iron. The extension to applications in steel production and for environmental requirements such as steel-plant dusts, lead-blast furnace slags, and zinc-lead residues is well advanced.
The great value of pilot-plant testwork in defining the necessary design criteria has been established on Mintek's plasma-arc facilities, including the recently installed demonstration-scale 5.6 MVA multi-purpose unit Specification of furnace shell diameter, type of shell cooling and refractory lining, tap-hole locations, bath and freeboard heights, off-gas port location and dimensions, power supply criteria, and electrode dimensions must be determined by appropriate pilot-plant testwork using the actual materials to be processed. Testwork is also necessary to ensure that the required metallurgical process criteria can be met.
Investing in the necessary development work for new applications, or in confirmatory work for applications similar to those already demonstrated, reduces the risks when plasma-arc technology is implemented commercially, and results in significant capital and operating-cost savings.


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