Reactors Measuring and monitoring refractory lining for Peirce- Smith/Hoboken Converters and El Teniente/Noranda Reactors
The safe and table operation of converters and reactors in copper smelting depends significantly on the accurate understanding and monitoring of their refractory lining. Converters and reactors are cylindrical structures with two or three layers of the refractory lining. The common practice for relining these vessels focuses on predicting refractory wear rates from previous campaign relines. In addition, thermal data for estimating refractory conditions is collected from the shell. This approach works well in some cases but can leave operators vulnerable to localized wear events and can also lead to poorly scheduled relines where refractory linings are removed before having worn to their minimum operational thicknesses. In, the authors review the available inspection and monitoring methods for converters and reactors and make recommendations based on the innovative strategies practiced at some operations.