At the Aurubis Belgium production site in Olen, there are various essential steps involved in the processing of raw copper into finished products.
In the first production installation called “Contimelt”, blister copper and copper scrap are melted for further refining. The smelting and refining is done continuously in 2 production steps developed by Aurubis itself. In this way, 99% pure molten copper is obtained and cast into casting moulds, and then congeals into copper anodes.
The cast anodes already have a very high copper content, yet they still contain precious metals and other elements. Even the smallest amount of impurities affects the electrical conductivity of copper. Therefore, these impurities have to be removed from the copper. This is done during the refining process in the tank house. From each anode, 6 copper cathodes can be refined. These cathodes have an extremely high level of purity (> 99.995%).
The cathodes are then melted in the Contirod department. In a carefully monitored process, the copper is continuously cast into an endless bar, the AURUBIS ROD of 8 or 10 mm.
Aurubis Belgium also produces copper rod with an exceptionally low oxygen content, called AURUBIS FOXROD. Whereas AURUBIS ROD is cast from copper cathodes melted with gas and oxygen, the oxygen-free copper rod is cast from copper cathodes melted with electric current. In this way, the oxygen content in the rod is extremely low, which is beneficial to the conductivity of the copper.
Since 2010, Aurubis Belgium has been producing copper bars and profiles in its Bars & Profiles department. In this business line, FOXROD is transformed into Bars & Profiles. This is done by means of a continuous extrusion process, called the Conform process. The Conform process is characterized by low energy consumption and dimensional stability.
The process from scrap to semi-finished products
Starting the tour at one of the largest copper scrap yards in Europe, the tour will cover the copper transformation process from secondary smelting (anodes), electrolysis (cathodes), rod casting (Rod), vertical casting (Foxrod), extrusion and cold reduction (bars and profiles). During the tour you will see some points of historic interest (Madame Curie) and some newer ventures (wind turbines).
Programme for Thursday 13 June:
08:30-10:00 - Travel by chartered coach from Brussels to Olen plant
10:00-12:30 - Presentation + Plant Tour
12:30-13:30 - Sandwiches for Networking-Lunch
13:30-15:00 - Travel by chartered coach from Olen plant to Brussels
N.B. There will be a charge of €33.06 + VAT to secure a place on the tour. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis to fully registered delegates only