CAD has developed more sophisticated nickel sintering technologies and is the World’s leading furnace supplier to nickel refineries. Installations include the 8 tonne/hour nickel furnace (above) in Australia as well as sintering and desulphurising furnaces in Madagascar, Australia and Africa.
The unique & advanced design features in the nickel sintering furnaces have been:
- Hydrogen Disposal
In earlier designs the hydrogen burnt off was done at the entry door. Hydrogen burns at a very high temperature and this can cause severe damage to the belt and the nickel briquettes. The high heat also quickly destroys dampers used to control the furnace pressure. In the current design, hydrogen is channeled away for burning allowing the pressure damper to control the furnace pressure more effectively. The channelled hydrogen is flared or burnt off in a temperature controlled combustion chamber.
- Convection Cooling
Another significant improvement is the convection cooling method which replaces the earlier quiescent cooler design. The high specific heat and conductivity of hydrogen ensure that convection is highly effective, cutting the cooling period to a third that of the previous process. However, the high specific heat of hydrogen requires the energy input to be increased by 20% to heat the hydrogen as it enters the furnace. This extra heating requirement is neutralized by a heat exchanger that transfers heat from the exiting nickel to the incoming hydrogen.