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Montanwerke Brixlegg AG Copper Cathodes Header Kupferkathoden

Copper Cathodes Cathodes made of copper

Copper cathodes are the basic building blocks of the copper production. They are the starting point for processing copper. With a purity of at least 99.99% the copper cathodes made by Brixlegg are certified as Grade A by the London Metal Exchange (LME) and registered as the brand “BRX”. They comply with the EN 1978 standards, the requirements of the IWCC and the ASTM B115.

Dimensions: 1000×1000 mm
Weight: 55-65 kg

Given their high levels of purity and high conductivity, Brixlegg copper cathodes are employed primarily for the production of continuous cast rod. Further applications are continuous and discontinuous casting plant, especially for the manufacture of copper products in the grades Cu-OFE, Cu-OF1 pursuant to EN, Cu-PHCE, CuAg(OF) and Cu-ETP1. The billets and cakes are used to produce workpieces for high-vacuum technology, superconductor technology and microelectronics.

Copper cathode fact table:

Designation Copper cathodes grade A
Copper purity at least 99.99%
Dimensions 1000×1000 mm
Weight 55-65 kg
Form of delivery Whole cathodes in bundles or cut (loosely or bundled), weight depending on customer request
Elektric conductivity 58,56 Sm/mm² (101% IACS)
Main contaminant Silver (6-10 ppm)
Rating by London Metal Exchange (LME) Grade A
Brand BRX
Compliant with EN 1978, IWCC and ASTM B115

From scrap to copper cathodes

The whole refining process starts with low copper scrap. This includes ashes, drosses and dusts with copper contents of about 15 to 60 percent. Apart from that we also use alloy scrap like brass and (red) bronze with copper contents ranging from 60 to 80 percent.

After inspecting the materials used for refining we smelt them. It depends on the type of refining required if we use the anode furnace, converter, shaft furnace or smelting furnace for that process.,Scrap with low copper content like copper iron material and shredded copper gets into the shaft furnace, where the pyrometallurgical refining process begins. The scrap gets smelted and cleaned at around 1.200°C.

After the pyrometallurgical refining process the molten metal from the shaft furnace has a copper content of about 75 percent. This molten metal also called black copper gets further processed in the converter. Together with copper alloys like brasses and (red) bronze it gets processed to lead, tin and zinc as mixed oxides using oxygen.
The next step in the copper refining process takes place in the anode furnace. The copper content is already at 96% after the shaft furnace. To further improve the purity the material gets mixed with sheet, pipe and wire scrap in the anode furnace. The end result of this step is molten metal with a copper content of about 99%, which is cast into anode plates.

Right after that, the anode plates get into the hydrometallurgical refining process. In this process the copper gets refined using electromechanical processes. Therefore we hang the anode plates in a sulfuric acid solution of copper sulfate where the copper gets seperated from the anode using stainless steel sheets as cathodes under the influence of electric current. This leads to a copper content of more than 99.99 percent.

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