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Installations for Melting, Refining and Related Processes

posted 4 May 2018, 12:11 by Katharine Otter

Over the past two years, Monometer has commissioned a number of installations, including metal melting equipment and related processes.

Furnace equipment has been designed by Monometer to operate over a wide range of temperature and humidity, ranging from -40 deg C in Russian winter conditions to + 40 deg C at 100% humidity in parts of Malaysia and India. In addition to the melting furnace, equipment includes filtration, burner control systems and material feed chargers.

Various innovative projects have incorporated Monometer refining equipment, including iron, copper and lead processes, performing significantly above traditional methods in terms of increased yield, thermal efficiency and furnace productivity.

For example, in copper refining from Birch-Cliff to high purity copper, a 6-tonne capacity Monometer tilting rotary furnace will typically cycle in 4 - 6 hours; 3 tonnes of scrap iron may be melted, alloyed and tapped in under 120 minutes, and 10 tonnes lead battery scrap may be processed through the furnace in under 5 hours. Monometer designs and supply includes the furnace charging system, gas diffusion technology for the refining process, slag systems, oxy-fuel burner system, and exhaust filter complete with settler, as well as the fluxing agents injector, and consumable spare parts.

Monometer offers comprehensive onsite support, ranging from turnkey management or installation support, to short training packages targeting metallurgical training or general furnace performance. All Monometer clients benefit from being kept up to date with the latest equipment software updates and full engineering on site support.

For more information on this or Monometer products please contact Dr Christopher Hall PhD, FICME, Monometer Holdings Ltd, Monometer House, Rectory Grove, Leigh-on- Sea, Essex SS9 2HN Tel +44 0)1702 472201 Fax +44 (0)1702 715112


posted 9 Oct 2017, 10:01 by Katharine Otter   [ updated 4 May 2018, 12:20 ]

Monometer was approached by West Country Tiling to comment upon and try to resolve reoccurring failures in their furnace crucible, and a variable melting performance. The furnace in question was a 1-tonne lead capacity crucible supplied by another company.

A very interesting and complimentary video was also included from the client showing their production and manufacture of lead-roof sheeting.

Monometer assessed the furnace design including burner system, together with the process requirements.

Following investigation, several problem areas were identified including:

  • Localized spot heating of a restricted area of the crucible that was causing damage to the crucible fabrication,

  • Natural vulnerability of the fabrication to thermal stress was exacerbating premature crucible failure,

  • The air gap between furnace brickwork and crucible was insufficient to allow necessary flame circulation for distribution of heating around the crucible.

  • The effect of the burner angular position combined with proximity to the exhaust resulted in hot combustion gases traveling mainly straight from burner to exhaust without proper circulation around the crucible.

Furnace modifications were therefore advised as follows:

  • Angular re-positioning of the burner with respect to the crucible for the purpose of promoting circulation of flame around the crucible and eliminating as far as possible localized spot heating.

  • Burner repositioning with respect to the exhaust, so to promote circulation to the longest possible path prior to exhaustion.  

  • Reduced firing rate

  • Replacement of the fabricated crucible with a smaller redesigned cast iron crucible for the purpose of improved melting performance and crucible life. The smaller crucible was to allow an increased gap between the furnace brickwork and crucible to allow hot gas circulation around the crucible; the cast iron construction was to promote heat transfer both around and through the crucible to the charge materials within and to eliminate vulnerability to thermal stresses.

All recommendations were implemented by the client, and ultimately the melt time was considerably reduced, fuel efficiency increased in proportion to the reduced melt cycle time and following a reduced normal firing rate, and issues concerning crucible longevity and reliability were entirely eliminated.

Attractive economy of the work required to implement the proposed solutions was achieved by the client carrying out fabrication work locally and since the majority of the existing burner fabrication was reused and constituent parts retained. Additionally, Monometer was able to supply a competitively priced made-to-measure bottom-pouring cast iron crucible.

After the furnace modifications at West Country Tiling had been completed, and the new pot had been fitted, Toby Pitt commented “Despite my unnecessary worrying the outcome is perfect.  Thank you”.

Monometer welcomes enquires for new furnace equipment as well as for assisting with updating or problem-solving performance issues whether process or furnace related.

Plasma Nitriding

posted 30 Nov 2014, 09:41 by Katharine Otter   [ updated 8 Dec 2014, 08:22 ]

An excellent artical attached about Monometer Nitriding . For further information, visit our Plasma Nitriding page, or contact us.

Copper Melting and Refining

posted 12 Oct 2014, 05:25 by Katharine Otter

MONOMETER’s latest installation in the Ural Mountains of the Russian federation has been successfully completed with commissioning to be carried out over the next few months.

Monometer has undertaken the complete design and layout of the installation. The Russian company has been producing Copper granules from high grade copper scrap, which were then processed to form copper sulphate. However, the new Monometer refining rotary furnace installation now allows granule production from lower grade and lower cost Birch/ Cliff scrap, by refining the copper to in the region of 99.8 to 99.9% purity. The purity of copper product from the low grade scrap charged into the furnace and refined now exceeds the purity of product previously obtained from higher purity scraps that were melted and poured without refining. This greatly widens the client’s options for charge materials, assisting margins and scope for final product diversity.

For example, where copper carbonate can be formed using the second or third mother liquor from the copper sulphate process, the equipment used to produce copper carbonate can usually be used to produce tribasic copper sulphate or copper hydrate. Tri basic copper sulphate (CuSO4·3(Cu(OH)2·H2O) is a fungicide typically applied as a spray or dust formulation on agricultural crops. Depending on the climate it can also serve as an insecticide and miticide for citrus crops and has been used on tomatoes and peppers, among other crops. Copper carbonate, tribasic copper sulphate and copper hydrate are all value added products compared to copper sulphate where there is access to an adequately sized market. In addition, with copper purities now obtainable meeting standards for electrical applications, copper from the furnace may be cast to ingots and marketed accordingly. In this area of Russia the outside temperature may reach -40 deg C in the winter so the whole plant including the filter system has been designed to operate inside. This innovative project deploys the use of efficient Monometer Rotary technology incorporating the refinement of Oxyfuel burners and porous plug diffusion. This is an opportunity to combine Monometer expertise in close partnership with the experts in the field of copper granule production. Monometer supplied the turnkey installation including the furnace system, charger and bag house filter system – specifically targeting the elimination of copper dust from the hygiene air surrounding the furnace. The work is part of the modernisation programme of a local company. The copper converter plant is made up of a 5.5-tonne liquid copper Monometer rotary tilting furnace and refractory lining, which cycles in 4 – 6 hours. The design includes the furnace charging system, porous gas diffusion technology for the refining process, Oxyfuel burner system, exhaust filter for all particulates and fines including hooding, settler, bag filter, exhaust and all ducts, also the fluxing agents injector, and consumable spare parts. The challenges of meeting the Russian import documentation including GOST certification were handled in the offices at Monometer House.

The photograph shows overall layout of the installation just before commissioning.

Please contact Christopher Hall PhD, Monometer Holdings Ltd, Monometer House, Rectory Grove,

Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 2HN Tel +44 (0)1702 472201 Fax +44 (0)1702 715112



posted 12 Oct 2014, 05:23 by Katharine Otter   [ updated 30 Nov 2014, 09:32 ]

Monometer has continued to develop rotary furnace equipment for the recovery of tin from tin drosses and scrap materials. The most recent installation was installed and commissioned in China in Autumn 2008.

The tin content in the charge materials is within the region of 75% - 80%, with the remainder being made up of caustic cake and other materials including estimated minimum 4% moisture content. A typical overall recovery in excess of 95% metal from the metal bearing content of the materials initially charged into the furnace is achieved in the Monometer rotary furnace

The new installation in China smelts up to 400-kg of charge materials. Reductant and other additive quantities were established and the fuel consumption was approximately 80 litres diesel oil per hour (equivalent to about 85 cub metres Natural Gas per hour).

The Rotary Furnace can also be run continuously to process between 2 and 3 tonnes of Ash in a single cycle. This procedure involves back-charging and part-tapping for short periods of about 20-seconds to discharge up to 100-kg of tin metal from time to time. The advantages of continuous operation with part-tapping and back charging are 1) Losses due to fuming are reduced because the liquid tin is removed from the furnace soon after it has been formed, and 2) the furnace is kept near full capacity which reduces losses and reduces the effective tin loss to the slag.

The process with best results utilises the slag recycling and baghouse dust recycling similar to that used in lead smelting and other similar smelting processes. The return of slag and baghouse dust to the furnace typically achieves an overall recovery in excess of 95% metal from the metal bearing content of the materials initially charged into the furnace.

After-burner equipment is not required with this process; since there are no dioxins, furans, and other combustible products escaping from the furnace exhaust system.

Monometer manufacture a full range of Rotary, Reverberatory, and Crucible melting furnaces as well as electrically heated box and continuous process Mesh Belt furnaces for Heat Treatment applications.

Please contact Dr Christopher Hall or use our contact us form

100 years of Monometer furnaces

posted 6 Apr 2013, 10:01 by Katharine Otter

Monometer celebrates 100 years of designing and manufacturing furnaces world wide. 


posted 17 Apr 2012, 07:15 by Katharine Otter

A new generation of Monometer rotary furnaces is being developed by Monometer for Aluminium melting, Aluminium scrap recycling, Copper Bronze and Brass melting.  The capacities of the furnaces range from 2 to 20 tonnes.

Over the last 20 years or so, there has been an expansion of rotary furnace use and understanding – particularly in Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia, Indian, SE Asia including Thailand and Malaysia.

In addition to growing competition UK foundries resources are further focused on meeting targets for emissions and energy efficiency through legislation, government initiatives and the ever-increasing cost of fuel.  

The latest Monometer rotary melting and holding furnaces incorporate a larger charge hole (up to 1.2 metres) than previously possible with standard rotary furnace design.  The furnaces have a shorter deeper bath, which provides optimum bath ratio of molten state surface area to bath depth.  A Monometer flu-bypass damper system is now built in to assist with the optimisation of hot gas dwell time in the furnace, which increases heat transfer efficiency to the molten metal.

The Monometer multi speed programmable drive system enables RPM adjustment to achieve good thermal transfer to the charge, minimal losses, and finely adjustable mechanical agitation according to process requirements.  

Combustion furnace users concerned with emissions limits for NOx and CO, could benefit from introducing oxygen enrichment to their burner system.  Gaseous emissions and fuel consumption can be reduced by about 26%.  Full oxy/fuel firing reduces the flue volume by 72% with a fuel saving of approximately 50%.

Typical oxy/fuel burner systems incorporate PC controlled variable flame fuel balance, and firing rate to suit the charge state and temperatures. The system automatically detects excessive emissions caused by dirty charge and calls for increased oxygen flow from the burner to help combust particulates prior to escape into the flue.  This greatly reduces emissions.  When the emissions have subsided, the burner returns to an optimum firing rate and oxygen/oil flow balance.  An automatic signal requires the furnace to be purged with clean air prior to ignition, which provides safety, conformity to European Standards, and guards against the possibility of any build up of fuel in the furnace prior to lighting the burner.

These recent developments enable a Monometer 18 – 20 Tonnes Aluminium Rotary furnace to achieve a tap-to-tap cycle of under 4 hours with a total energy consumption of 30 therms per tonne.  A 6-tonne Copper Rotary furnace is able to achieve a tap-to-tap time of 2 hr 30 minutes with a firing rate of 100 litres/hr.  

Monometer continues to design, develop and manufacture Rotary, Reverberatory and Crucible metal melting furnaces for ferrous and non-ferrous foundry industries and welcomes your enquiries for furnace equipment.

Please contact Christopher Hall PhD

Monometer Holdings Ltd, 
Monometer House, 
Rectory Grove, 
Essex SS9 2HN 
Tel +44 (0)1702  472201 
Fax +44 (0)1702 715112

Cast Metal Times: Tin, Lead, and Copper Smelting and Recycling with Monometer Rotary Furnaces

posted 17 May 2011, 05:29 by Katharine Otter   [ updated 17 May 2011, 05:44 ]

The Article below will appear in the GIFA show issue of The Cast Metal Times and will be distributed at the exhibition. Written by Dr. Christopher Hall, Director of Monometer. 


Monometer rotary furnaces for the reclamation of tin and lead have been in particularly high demand recently, following a significant rise in commodity prices over the past few years, in particular for tin dross processing, for which up to 99.5% of the metal-bearing material in a charge can be recovered as recycled tin. The smelting process is attractively simple and does not involve salt, so the environmental impact of final waste products is low and will typically pass for low cost disposal routes.

 A chrome-magnesite brick ensures long refractory life between lining changes of up to three years, while its high thermal conductivity effects good thermal efficiency by continually passing heat to the charge material as the furnace rotates. The furnace rotation effects a homogeneous heat distribution and reactivity in the charge bed, so the process consumes relatively little reductant, slag volumes are low, and the recovery cycle time is short. For example, the Monometer continuous smelting process operating in a one-tonne capacity furnace will produce up to five tonnes in an eight-hour shift, while the larger of our furnaces at 40 tonnes capacity will typically cycle 80 to 100 tonnes of material over eight to ten hours.

Monometer rotary furnaces are made in the UK to the highest standards of machining and fabrication to ensure reliable alignment of all drive train and furnace rotating components; and all welding, including the integration of spun dished ends, is checked to ASME and/or ISO certification. Following these standards furnace quality is guaranteed, and indeed proven by the many installations worldwide now having achieved in excess of 25 years continuous operation.

The Monometer smelting system extends to accommodate ores of lead, copper and tin, and has been applied in the reclamation of silver from charges of various mixed material. In each of these applications the unique bath depth and rotational programme retain metal fume within the reactive bed of the furnace chamber and effect a rapid cycle and high yield; recoveries of up to 99.5% are quoted in all offers where exhaust dusts are returned to the furnace and this performance is guaranteed subject only to a certified charge assay.

Both low NOx air-fuel and oxy-fuel burner technology are offered with Monometer deep bath smelting furnaces. This is in consideration for the varying needs of diverse processes and client circumstances. In particular, the attractions of the oxygen burner can include a lowering of emissions volumes by up to 75% with an accompanying reduction in the required size of filtration plant, cycle time reduction by up to 40% and reduced metal losses. However, these attractions are attainable for many, but not all processes. For example, a smaller and therefore less costly filtration plant requirement, (which can offset higher oxy-fuel capital costs), is typically only realised where emission volume is reduced by at least 50%, and cycle time is not always influenced significantly by flame temperature alone. This is why Monometer air-fuel systems, having been developed to maximise the heat recovery attainable from vortex recirculation (double pass) principles, remain a highly attractive option for all processes, particularly for tin and lead smelting, and are effective and economical in situations where the necessary oxygen supply is not always available locally at the site of installation.

Monometer offers a fully comprehensive service from design for special applications through to commissioning and continuous assistance after installation. A typical installation will be commissioned and proven by one of our metallurgical engineers to operate to the standards and performance quoted, and our after sales service will attend at short notice regarding any process-related requirements or other furnace needs.

For these reasons Monometer is particularly well placed with the necessary combination of experience backed up by continual development and the highest qualify of manufacture and service, to provide a reliable high performance solution for the client every time.

GIFFA 2011

posted 16 May 2011, 06:27 by Katharine Otter

New Page added! Click here or contact us for more information

Monometer Giffa Exhibition 2011

posted 20 Mar 2011, 01:46 by Katharine Otter   [ updated 20 Mar 2011, 02:00 ]

More information arriving soon. Please contact us for advanced information

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