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Jun 30, 2017

Outotec electrode equipment

Outotec Electrode Equipment is designed to last. Its robust structure is tested in the hardest operating conditions and has proven itself to support uninterrupted furnace operation and enables high availability of plants. The cornerstones of the electrode equipment design are safety, high availability, electrical efficiency and maintenance friendliness. By optimizing these areas we have been able to develop equipment which provides the best customer value by supporting the low operating costs and a low life cycle cost of the plant.
Metso Outotec slipping device


  • Fail-safe
  • Manufactured and tested in Outotec’s own manufacturing workshop
  • Low maintenance andmaintenance friendly design
  • Gas tight bottom part
  • Patented cooling arrangement with no welded plugs in the hot face (minimized risk of water leakages)
Metso Outotec electrode equipment

Outotec offers electrode equipment for all types of electrical smelting and slag cleaning furnaces, both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC), for the processing of ferrochrome, ferromanganese, ferronickel, copper and nickel etc. Ferroalloy AC furnaces are typically operated with Söderberg type electrodes. Slag cleaning furnaces can be operated with Söderberg or graphite/carbon electrodes. For silicon metal furnaces Outotec has compound electrode, and for small silicon metal furnaces we offer carbon electrode. Outotec offers both greenfield and brownfield deliveries, including upgrades of existing electrode equipment. We have delivered 27 pieces of electrode equipment for ferroalloy applications globally.

Equipment design

At Outotec, safety is our first priority in equipment design. Our operating principles and control systems are designed to minimize the need to spend time in hazardous areas. The fail-safe principle is used to minimize the damages during any failure. For example, the fail-safe spring clamping system is used in the slipping device to prevent accidents during the power failure or loss of hydraulic power.

High availability is guaranteed by our equipment design as well as component and material selections. All critical components are designed to be maintenance free during normal operation. To shorten the down time after abnormal operating conditions, all critical parts are designed for easy replacement.

Energy efficiency is guaranteed by using high purity copper in the lower part of the electrode equipment. All materials are selected to ensure longer equipment life time and minimize eddy-current losses.

All main components of the Outotec electrode equipment are developed, owned and patented by Outotec. This enables seamless integration of the equipment to Outotec smelting technologies and enables a high level of customization according to customer needs. The quality of our equipment is assured as we manufacture all critical components in our own workshop in Finland. Before delivery, the Factory Acceptance Test is performed for fully assembled equipment in the machinery shop to guarantee easy assembly on-site and enable the smooth ramp-up of the plant.


Outotec Electrode Equipment is a complete system to move and slip the electrodes and transfer electric power to the smelting process. The electrode column consists of an upper assembly and a lower assembly which are connected by a mantle. The upper part consists of a slipping device, main regulation cylinders to handle the electrode movement and paste heaters. The slipping device is a fail-safe spring clamping system with adjustable spring force. Outotec’s design of the slipping device allows easy maintenance and reduced consumption of spare parts.

The purpose of the lower part is to transfer electric power through the electrode into the reduction and smelting process in the electric furnace. The electric energy is transmitted from the furnace transformers to the contact shoes via water-cooled bus tubes. The lower part consists of frame tube, heat shield, pressure ring, pressure bellows, and contact shoes.

The stainless steel frame tube is attached to the mantle of the upper electrode column with an electrically insulated joint. The frame tube supports bus tubes and cooling water pipes with electrically insulated brackets. All copper materials are hot rolled copper.

The hydraulic unit includes a hydraulic power pack, hydraulic control panel, valves, instrumentation and piping. The hydraulic system is designed according to the fail-safe principal. Outotec provides also the programming and software for the PLC. The electrode controls are part of the plant automation system.  All equipment is electrically insulated to avoid any arcing.

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