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Product Category: Projects

Product Code: 00005176

No of Pages: 108

No of Chapters: 5

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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 8700c 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

REFERENCES                                                                                           85

APPENDIX A                                                                                            88

APPENDIX B                                                                                            94

APPENDIX C                                                                                            97









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







PLATE 1           ALIEN KEY


PLATE 3           HAND FILES




PLATE 7           DRILL BIT  






1.1            Background of Study

Powder metallurgy 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 of Metal 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 of powders 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 powder production 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.


1.2   Aim 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.


1.2.2     Objectives of Study

The objectives of the study include the following

       i.            Determination of the volume of a single aluminum can using a weighing balance.

     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 furnace.

  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 the obtained aluminum powder metal.


1.3    Problem Statement

Wide-spread application and 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 for the production of powder metal from waste aluminum cans which can be used for various domestic and industrial applications and also serves as a good environmental pollution control for the aforementioned waste.

1.4    Scope of the Research Project

This research project 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.


1.5      Relevance of the Study

The importance of this study includes the following:

       i.            To reduce the rate of environmental 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.


1.6    Limitation 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 nitrogen.

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