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Thos Begbie & Company’s long history has resulted in it excelling in a vast range of cast and machined engineering products for the mining industry in general.

The company’s vast foundry, heavy engineering works and pipe manipulation divisions, give it the versatility to cope with the demanding mining and pyrometallurgical industries’ requirements.

Often, burn-throughs on contact shoes, furnace linings, launders & runners and other unforeseen catastrophes need urgent reaction from a supplier of these components. As luck would have it, most mining and smelting operations are remote and often difficult to get to; resulting in having to airfreight 100’s of tons of cast and machined copper components in all types of climatic conditions.

Thos Begbie offers a 24/7 emergency operation 365 days-per-year, and considering that customers are situated across all the time-zones, the sales and engineering staff are always on duty. Customers in 20 countries across the globe have been given excellent service by Thos Begbie and their dedicated team.

Some of the products & services offered include:

 
  • COPPER COOLING ELEMENTS
  • PRE-APPLIED REFRACTORIES
  • PRE-APPLIED CORROSION PROTECTION
  • INCLUSIVE REFRACTORY MONITORING PROCESSES
  • FURNACE SPARES
  • ELECTRICAL COPPER COMPONENTS & BUSBARS
  • COMPOSITE METAL CASTINGS
  • PRE-ASSEMBLY OF COMPONENTS
  • RECONDITIONING
  • GENERAL ENGINEERING
  • LIGHT FABRICATION
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  • PIPE MANIPULATION & COIL MANUFACTURING
  • BORING& VERTICAL MILLING
  • CENTER LATHES
  • DEEPHOLE DRILLING
  • PRESSURE & FLOW TESTING
  • METALLURGICAL LABORATORY
  • WELDING OF ALL MATERIALS
  • NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING
       (Includes: X-Ray, UT & Infra-red Analysis)
  • RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
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    WHY ARE THOS BEGBIE’s COPPER COOLING ELEMENTS THE PREFERRED FURNACE REFRACTORY- AND FURNACE SHELL PROTECTION MECHANISM USED WORLD-WIDE?

    Basic metallurgical principles of smelting involve applying heat energy to a metallic ore using a flux and a reductant to extract the metal from its naturally occurring oxides. Temperatures could vary from 1,000⁰C to 1,800⁰C. At these temperatures, most furnace shells would melt away with disastrous results.

    The shell of the furnace, often made of steel and even copper, is protected from heat and the corrosive and erosive melt environment by means of a compatible refractory lining. The lining forms a major cost and safety aspect in the smelting process as it is a consumable item subjected to wear over time.  By using a cooling mechanism to lower the contact temperature between the lining and the melt zone, a substantial saving in costs per ton melted is achieved and it also acts as an additional safety factor in almost eliminating the incidence of run-outs or burn-throughs.

    In certain sulphur-rich smelting operations, highly corrosive atmospheres surround the copper coolers, with the consequent acidic attack. A ceramic spray-on application on the copper hot-face is available and gives additional corrosion resistance in critical areas.

    This cooling effect causes a freeze-line (skull or accretion) of slag on the contact face of the refractory which provides a heat-corrosion and erosion-resistant barrier that lengthens the lining’s life. Some furnace operators are striving to achieve up to 10 years use out of a furnace shell and lining by using this effective cooling mechanism.

    Thos Begbie & Co Thos Begbie & Co
    Pre-applied refractory lining applied to copper cooler Water reticulation connecting copper coolers

    Copper is the logical choice for the cooling component as its general physical properties and cost-versus- thermal conductivity efficiency is the best of all known materials for this application. In order to create an efficient heat exchanger or cooling element, water is circulated through the copper by means of a network of drilled holes in a copper slab, or an inclusion of a Monel (nickel/copper alloy) pipe circuit, cast into the copper casting. The volume and velocity of the water coolant is controlled to achieve the perfect balance of creating an effective freeze-lining, yet not losing too much heat energy from the smelt reaction zone.

    The essence of efficient cooling is achieved by obtaining a 100% bond between the cast copper and the Monel piping, so that maximum heat transfer can take place. Thos Begbie prides itself in having pioneered and perfected this casting innovation in the complex process of achieving this energy efficient bond.

    Thos Begbie & Co

    Photograph of a cross-section through a copper casting and circulation coil showing the perfect bond between the copper and the monel piping.

    Efficient heat transfer takes place between the highly conductive pure (“4 x nines” copper) through the corrosion-resistant nickel/copper (monel-400) tubing, where treated water removes the correct & balanced amount of heat in a closed-circuit to the water cooling- towers.

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