Monitoring of Copper Cooling Components in Furnaces Using Leak Detection and NDT Methods

Author(s): T. Gerritsen, P. Gebski, W. Braun, G. Loots, A. Sadri,


The copper coolers required for high intensity smelting furnaces use water to provide efficient cooling. Strict quality control measures including ultrasonic testing during their manufacturing are used to reduce the risks associated with bringing water in proximity to molten materials. Leak Detection Systems are used on the operating smelting furnaces for automatic monitoring of the cooling circuits further reducing risk. A Pressure Leak Detection System designed and installed by Hatch has demonstrated its ability to detect tiny leaks as small a few drips per minute providing very early detection. The enhanced safety provided by leak detection can be complemented by measurements of the residual thickness of the cooling elements on an operating furnace using other new Non- Destructive Testing techniques including Low Frequency Pulse Ultrasonic (LFPU). The techniques described in the paper to test the quality or to monitor the condition of copper coolers in electric arc smelting furnaces can also be used on blast furnaces.