Presented To

Department of Polymer and Textile Engineering


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


11 Background of Study 1

12 Aims and Objectives of the Study 3

13 Problem Statement 4

14 Scope of Research Project 5

15 Relevance of Study 5

16 Limitation of Study 5


21 Introduction to Aluminium and Aluminium Recycling 7

22 Introduction to Powder Metallurgy 8

221Historical Development 8

222 Atomization Process 9

223 Classification of Atomization process 10

224 Uses of Powder Metals 10

225 Some Common Metal Powder 11

23 Introduction to Atomizer 12

231 Classification of Atomizers 13

232 Atomizer Requirement 14

24 Introduction to Furnace 15

241 Types of Furnaces 15

242 Classification of Furnaces 16

243 Introduction to Copula 17

244 Parts of a Copula Furnace 17

245 Zones of Copula 19

246 Copula Operations 22

247 Efficiency of Copula Furnace 26

248 Advantages and Limitations 27

249 Limitations in Copula Furnace 28

25 Introduction to Refractory 28

251 Refractory Definition 28

252 Classification of Refractory 29

253 Properties of Refractory 32

25 4 Types of Refractory 36

255 Selection of Refractory 39

256 Manufacture of Refractory 39

257 Functions and uses of Refractory 41

258 Uses of Refractories 41

26 Introduction to Coal 42

261 Uses of Coal 43

262 Refined Coal(Coke) 43

263 Production of Coke 44

264 Properties of Coke 44

265 Uses of Coke 45

266 Advantages of Coal over other Forms of Energy 45


31 Introduction 46

32 The Design of Copula Furnace 47

321 Material Balance 47

322 Reaction Mechanism 48

323 Energy Balance 49

324 Enthalpy Change 50

325 Standard Heat of Reaction 51

33 Energy Balance for the Furnace 52

331 Combustion Chamber 52

332 Enthalpy of the Reaction 53

333 Standard Heat of Reaction 53

334 Enthalpy of Flue Gases 54

335 The Design of the Furnace 55

336 Design of the Combustion Chamber 57

337 Design of the down Section of the Furnace 58

34 Design of an Atomizer 62

35 Costing and Safety Measures 67

351 Costing 67

352 Safety Measures 69

36 Materials of Constructions 70


41 Results 79

42 Observations and Discussion 80

43 The Size of the Metal Powder produced 81

44 The Shape of Aluminum metal powder produced 81


51 Conclusion 83

52 Recommendations 83






Table 21 Melting point Chart of pure Compounds 33

Table 23 Classes of Fire Clay Brick 38

Table 31 Material Balance Table 49

Table 32 Specification Sheet for the Designed Atomizer 67

Table 33 Cost of Materials 68

Table 34 Fabrication cost 68

Table 35 Additional Expenses 69

Table 41 Results from the Copula Furnace 79


Figure 21 Broad Classification of Furnace 19

Figure22 Copula Furnace 21

Figure 31 The Combustion Chamber (Materials) 48

Figure 32 Balance Around the combustion Chamber 52

Figure 33 Balance around the Furnace 55

Figure 34 Internal and External diameters 58

Figure 35 2D And 3D views of the copula Furnace 59

Figure 36 3D View of the Cupola Furnace Sections 60

Figure 37 Front View of the Cupola Furnace 61

Figure 38 2D Sectioned view of the Lower Section of the Atomizer 63

Figure 39 2D Sectioned view of the Middle Section of the Atomizer 64

Figure 310 2D View of the Lower Section of the Atomizer 65

Figure 311 3-D Section view of the Atomizer 66











11 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

12 Aim and Objectives of the Study

121 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

122 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

13 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

14 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

15 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

16 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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