SMARTGard® Improves Copper Furnace’s Performance and Lifetime


This boiler had to be replaced every 24 months with no possibility to extend its lifetime. The 8mm metal plate would get completely wasted, exposing the tubes to high-temperature corrosion, leading to their disintegration.


After the IGS SMARTGard® HVTS application, zero metal wastage was identified following 24 months of operation. A production increase of 112% of design was noted.


This Copper Smelter, located in Asia, went into production in the 1940s. Since its inception, the plant has been modernized several times.

The plant operates two Copper Furnaces with a unique equipment configuration. The boilers are located directly above the furnace uptakes, making the risk of water going inside the furnace very high.

The plant has capacity to produce 150 000 tonnes of copper matte per year. They had ambitious plans for production development.


Boiler Waterwall Protection

IGS’ SMARTGard® High Velocity Thermal Spray (HVTS) solutions upgrade existing metallurgy to higher alloys that provide a barrier to mitigate corrosion and / or erosion in mission critical equipment around the world. IGS have performed over 4,000 site projects and installed millions of square feet of reliable metal cladding surface protection.

IGS HVTS Solution Benefits 

1. Efficiency

The reduction in the formation of accretion was the first major benefit achieved as a result of the HVTS application reported by the plant. The boiler slows down every month. During these periods plant management teams perform visual inspection of the equipment. No accretion has been detected on the boiler wall. The efficiency improvement increased production in 2020 to 112% of design capacity.

2. Lifetime

Boiler replacement is costly and time consuming. IGS HVTS application prevented the degradation of the heat recovery steam generator, which previously lasted only 24 months. The trial application provided a clear side-by-side comparison.

3. Reliability

Prior to the IGS SMARTGard® HVTS application, the plant used to carry out emergency localised localised shell repair.

The Next Step

The plant has now included IGS HVTS technology in their best practices list. They plan to install IGS surface technologies onto the refractory surfaces and the convection section coils to eliminate accretion  and increase the production rate.

IGS Comment

Sergei Merchev, IGS Manager who oversaw this project, commented: “Non-ferrous metallurgy presents a very severe environment, which truly puts our HVTS technology to the test. Our experience, expertise and collaborative approach made this application a success and produced undisputed value for the customer.”


Metals & Mining