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Heat tranfser and crack formation in water-cooled zinc fuming furnace jackets Scholey, Kenneth Erwin


In the zinc slag fuming process, zinc is extracted from lead blast furnace slag by reduction with a coal/air mixture injected into the slag through submerged tuyeres. The furnace is constructed of water-cooled jackets to contain the molten bath and freeze a protective slag layer. The slag layer greatly reduces vessel wear caused by the corrosive and violently agitated bath. However, the jackets are known to develop cracks in the working face panel that initiate on the slag face and propagate towards the water cavity. If the cracks reach the water cavity explosions may result should the molten slag come into contact with the water. In this study an analysis of heat transfer in the jacket has been carried out using in-plant measurements and mathematical modelling. The working face of a water jacket was instrumented with thermocouples and positioned in a fuming furnace at the Trail smelter of Cominco Ltd. Measurements revealed the presence of large thermal transients or temperature "spikes" in the panel approximately 20 cm above the tuyeres. The transients were observed during charging and tapping of the furnace and are likely associated with slag fall-off due to surface wave action and gas injection effects when the bath level is low. Temperatures at the mid-thickness were seen to rise by as much as 180 °C above the steady-state level. Under these conditions large compressive stresses are produced in the panel that are sufficient to cause yielding. Over time, the transients lead to low-cycle fatigue of the working face panel with crack formation initiating at pre-existing surface flaws. A mathematical modelling analysis of the transient freezing phenomena has been carried out using the finite element method. The results indicate that the temperature spikes are associated with the sudden removal of patches of slag and molten slag coming into direct contact with the jacket. The temperature spikes are large enough to generate compressive stresses that cause yielding of the material in the exposed area. In order to reduce the damage caused by the removal of the slag shell an increased number of anchoring studs should be used in critical areas and a higher water circulation velocity should be employed to increase the size of the frozen slag layer and its strength.

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