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Fabrication : Heat Exchanger ProjectsJuly 12, 2016
CAID Industries has been fabricating large air-to-air heat exchangers for the past twenty years. Air-to-air heat exchangers are used regionally at the sulfuric acid plants in Hayden, Miami, Boleo and Nacozari. Exchangers in acid plants are typically used to cool exhaust sulfur dioxide which is converted and absorbed to become H2SO4 or sulfuric acid.
Sulfuric acid is one of the most common and important industrial acids, especially in copper mining. There is significant synergy among copper smelting, sulfuric acid and copper SX-EW. Smelters off-gas sulfur dioxide, acid plants convert the gas into sulfuric acid and copper SX-EW uses the sulfuric acid to leach copper out of copper bearing rock in large leach pads.
If you don’t have copper smelters to produce sulfur dioxide then you must either bring in elemental sulfur and create sulfuric acid through a sulfur burner (like Boleo and Safford) or you must purchase sulfuric acid on the open market typically as a waste product from the petro-chemical industry and bring it in by rail. Economically it is much cheaper to produce your own sulfuric acid if you want to be a copper miner with a competitive production cost.
Our large exchanger fabrication history began in the mid-1990s when Phelps-Dodge Miami (now Freeport-McMoRan) asked CAID Industries (then T.A. CAID & Sons) to build the exchangers for the new sulfuric acid plant in Miami. These exchangers were built in the back of 2275 Ganley using a 1/4 x 10 plate roll, GMAW & FCAW welding and 5T shop cranes combined with our yard cranes. We stuffed and completed them outside on the porch using 50% more labor than we do today.
Over the next 3 years we expect additional exchangers at the Miami acid plant, Hayden and likely the new smelter complex in Sonora, should they be funded in this copper cycle. The highly skilled fabricators at CAID Industries are recognized as producing exceptional exchangers. Our mining customers look to us when these demanding jobs come along.