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MEI Online: Pyrometallurgy: Latest News: December 18th 2002


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:: Rammer Keeps Chilean Copper on the Move  

Copper smelting operations at Disputada de las Condes' smelting plant in Chile are able to run smoothly thanks to the use of Rammer hammers. The hammers, supplied by Sandvik Tamrock, prevent the furnaces becoming clogged with molten copper and, therefore, halting operations.

The plant has 10 furnaces that heat the copper to a molten state prior to further processing. A crucial part of the operation is pouring the molten copper out of each furnace. As the molten copper leaves the furnace, it solidifies on contact with air. The company needed to find a solution to prevent copper build up which would disrupt the smelting operation. Miguel Angel Araya, maintenance manager explains, "This makes the furnace quickly inoperable. So it is vital that the furnace opening is cleared as soon as the contents are poured out. We've had previous experience with Rammer equipment in other applications and found it well capable of working in the toughest conditions." Two Rammer E64 hammers are mounted on excavators and keep the furnace opening free of solidifying copper.

Mr Araya says, "The hammers have exceeded our expectations and are working extremely well. It is very hard work but the high impact energy of the Rammer units is more than sufficient to do the job."




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