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This research is centered on the design and fabrication of copula furnace and
atomizer for the production aluminium powder metal with the available
material.0.4kg of refined coke was chosen as the basis for material and energy
balance calculations and the design calculations performed from whose values are
used to produce the design drawings.Mild steel was used for the internal linings of
the furnace casing while other material were selected based on
functionality,durability ,cost and local availability.The furnace and atomizer were
assembled and the furnace inner wall of the casing was lined with refractory bricks
made from heated mixture of kaolin,clay, sawdust and water after which the
cylindrical shell was positioned.Testing was subsequently performed to evaluate
the performance of the furnace and the atomizer by first gathering of the aluminum
cans.The furnace was heated to 8700
c and it was observe that the furnace has
36.9% efficiency which is within the acceptable value for furnace
efficiencies.Atomizer produced various sizes of powder metal depending on the
type of mesh used and the shape obtained was irregular in shape.
Cover Page
Title Page i
Certification ii
Dedication iii
Acknowledgements iv
Abstract v
Table of Contents vi
List of Tables xi
List of Figures xii
List of Plates xiii
1.1 Background of Study 1
1.2 Aims and Objectives of the Study 3
1.3 Problem Statement 4
1.4 Scope of Research Project 5
1.5 Relevance of Study 5
1.6 Limitation of Study 5
2.1 Introduction to Aluminium and Aluminium Recycling 7
2.2 Introduction to Powder Metallurgy 8
2.2.1Historical Development 8
2.2.2 Atomization Process 9
2.2.3 Classification of Atomization process 10
2.2.4 Uses of Powder Metals 10
2.2.5 Some Common Metal Powder 11
2.3 Introduction to Atomizer 12
2.3.1 Classification of Atomizers 13
2.3.2 Atomizer Requirement 14
2.4 Introduction to Furnace 15
2.4.1 Types of Furnaces 15
2.4.2 Classification of Furnaces 16
2.4.3 Introduction to Copula 17
2.4.4 Parts of a Copula Furnace 17
2.4.5 Zones of Copula 19
2.4.6 Copula Operations 22
2.4.7 Efficiency of Copula Furnace 26
2.4.8 Advantages and Limitations 27
2.4.9 Limitations in Copula Furnace 28
2.5 Introduction to Refractory 28
2.5.1 Refractory Definition 28
2.5.2 Classification of Refractory 29
2.5.3 Properties of Refractory 32
2.5.4 Types of Refractory 36
2.5.5 Selection of Refractory 39
2.5.6 Manufacture of Refractory 39
2.5.7 Functions and uses of Refractory 41
2.5.8 Uses of Refractories 41
2.6 Introduction to Coal 42
2.6.1 Uses of Coal 43
2.6.2 Refined Coal(Coke) 43
2.6.3 Production of Coke 44
2.6.4 Properties of Coke 44
2.6.5 Uses of Coke 45
2.6.6 Advantages of Coal over other Forms of Energy 45
3.1 Introduction 46
3.2 The Design of Copula Furnace 47
3.2.1 Material Balance 47
3.2.2 Reaction Mechanism 48
3.2.3 Energy Balance 49
3.2.4 Enthalpy Change 50
3.2.5 Standard Heat of Reaction 51
3.3 Energy Balance for the Furnace 52
3.3.1 Combustion Chamber 52
3.3.2 Enthalpy of the Reaction 53
3.3.3 Standard Heat of Reaction 53
3.3.4 Enthalpy of Flue Gases 54
3.3.5 The Design of the Furnace 55
3.3.6 Design of the Combustion Chamber 57
3.3.7 Design of the down Section of the Furnace 58
3.4 Design of an Atomizer 62
3.5 Costing and Safety Measures 67
3.5.1 Costing 67
3.5.2 Safety Measures 69
3.6 Materials of Constructions 70
4.1 Results 79
4.2 Observations and Discussion 80
4.3 The Size of the Metal Powder produced 81
4.4 The Shape of Aluminum metal powder produced 81
5.1 Conclusion 83
5.2 Recommendations 83
Table 2.1 Melting point Chart of pure Compounds 33
Table 2.3 Classes of Fire Clay Brick 38
Table 3.1 Material Balance Table 49
Table 3.2 Specification Sheet for the Designed Atomizer 67
Table 3.3 Cost of Materials 68
Table 3.4 Fabrication cost 68
Table 3.5 Additional Expenses 69
Table 4.1 Results from the Copula Furnace 79
Figure 2.1 Broad Classification of Furnace 19
Figure2.2 Copula Furnace 21
Figure 3.1 The Combustion Chamber (Materials) 48
Figure 3.2 Balance Around the combustion Chamber 52
Figure 3.3 Balance around the Furnace 55
Figure 3.4 Internal and External diameters 58
Figure 3.5 2D And 3D views of the copula Furnace 59
Figure 3.6 3D View of the Cupola Furnace Sections 60
Figure 3.7 Front View of the Cupola Furnace 61
Figure 3.8 2D Sectioned view of the Lower Section of the Atomizer 63
Figure 3.9 2D Sectioned view of the Middle Section of the Atomizer 64
Figure 3.10 2D View of the Lower Section of the Atomizer 65
Figure 3.11 3-D Section view of the Atomizer 66
1.1 Background of Study
Powdermetallurgy is a technique concerned with the production of metal powders
and converting them into useful shapes. It is a material processing technique in
which particulate materials are consolidated to semi-finished and finished
products. Metal powder production techniques are used to manufacture a wide
spectrum ofMetal powders designed to meet the requirements of a large variety of
applications.Various powder production processes allow precise control of the
chemical and physical characteristics ofpowders and permit the development of
specific attributes for the desired applications. Powder production processes are
constantly being improved to meet the quality, cost and performance requirements
of all types of applications. Metal powders are produced by mechanical or
chemical methods.
The most commonly used methods include water and gas atomization, milling,
mechanical alloying, electrolysis, and chemical reduction of oxides.
The type of powderproduction process applied depends on the required production
rate, the desired powder properties and the properties desired in the final part.
Chemical and electrolytic methods are used to produce high purity powders while
Mechanical milling is widely used for the production of hard metals and oxides.
Atomization is the most versatile method for producing metal powders.
It is the dominant method for producing metal and pre-alloyed powders from
aluminum, brass, iron, low alloy steel, stainless steel, tool steel, super alloy,
titanium alloy and other alloys.
Atomization [Mehrotra 1984] is a process in which a liquid stream disintegrated
into a large number of droplets of various sizes. Basically atomization consists of
mechanically disintegrating a stream of molten metal into the fine particles by
means of a jet of compressed gases or liquids. It is an important process which
finds wide applications such diverse field as spraying for insecticidal use, fuel
injection in internal combustion engines, liquid spray drying, and liquid dispersion
in numerous liquid–gas contact operations such as distillation, humidification, and
spray crystallization.
The technique of atomizing a metal melt, with fluid was connected with the
production of metal powders. The basic principle involved in atomization of liquid
consists in increasing the surface area of the liquid stream until it becomes unstable
disintegrated. The energy required for disintegration can be imparted in several
ways depending on the mode in which the energy is supplied. The atomization
process [Mehrotra 1984] can be classified into three main categories:
Pressure atomization.
i. Mechanical
ii. Chemical or centrifugal atomization.
iii.Fluid atomization.
The present work concentrated on the third type of atomization. The kinetic energy
of a second fluid stream, being ejected from a nozzle is used for disintegrating of
the liquid. The stream in a free fall is impacted by a high pressure jet of second
fluid which is usually gas or water emerges either tangentially or at angle from
nozzle. So that molten which in general, have high surface tension can be atomized
by the fluid atomization technique.
1.2Aim and Objectives of the Study
1.2.1 Aim of Study
The aim of this study is to design and fabrication a mini copula furnace and an
atomizer for the production of powdered metal from waste aluminium cans.
1.2.2Objectives of Study
The objectives of the study include the following
i. Determination of the volume of a single aluminum can usinga weighing
ii. Carrying out a material and energy balance to determine the mass aluminum
to be melted, amount of fuel required and the required capacity of the
iii. Carrying out mechanical design of the mini-copula furnace required to melt
the waste aluminum can,
iv. Fabrication of the proposed designed mini-copula furnace plant.
v. Design of the atomizer for metal powder production.
vi. Fabrication of the designed atomizer
vii. Analysis of theobtained aluminumpowdermetal.
1.3Problem Statement
Wide-spread applicationand high demand of powder metal in industrial and
domestic processing activities and the littering- rate of aluminum cans all over the
country which poses a serious adverse environmental condition,have grown at an
alarming rate over the years.Therefore, the purpose of this project is to design and
fabricate a mini-copula furnace and an atomizer forthe production of powder metal
from waste aluminum cans which can be used for various domestic and industrial
applications and also servesas a good environmental pollution control for the
aforementioned waste.
1.4Scope of the Research Project
This researchproject focuses on the design and fabrication of a mini-copula furnace
and an atomizer for the production of powder metal from waste aluminum cans
through process atomization.
1.5Relevance of the Study
Theimportance of this study includes the following:
i. To reduce the rate ofenvironmental pollution (air, soil and water pollution)
caused by littering waste aluminum cans.
ii. Meet up with the ever-growing demand for powder aluminum metal in the
automobile industry
iii. To save energy and raw materials for the future industries.
iv. To provide raw material for metal matrix composites and wide applications
in paint industries.
v. To encourage researchers think of ways of harnessing other waste materials.
vi. To increase the availability of solid fuels for rockets.
vii. It also serves as a reference material to any researcher on this field.
1.6Limitation of the Study
The factors hindering effective execution of this study are:
i. Inadequate power supply for the operation of the fabricating machines.
ii. Inadequate fund
iii. Time limit towards successful completion of the project
iv. Use of readily available air as the atomizing fluid instead of costly pure


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