Escalating costs of electricity and gas require new solutions for foundries
It is more important than ever for foundries to control and minimise their energy consumption costs in order to remain competitive.
The war in Ukraine has led to a drastic increase in energy costs. Compared to last year, electricity prices have almost tripled and gas prices have more than doubled, and the end of this price development has not yet been reached. Energy-intensive industries, such as the foundry industry, are particularly impacted by this cost explosion.
While the industry has long contributed to sustainability in some areas, notably through the recycling of iron, steel and aluminium scrap, there is still much room for improvement in other areas, such as increasing energy efficiency. Therefore, technologies and solutions that reduce energy consumption are becoming increasingly mportant. The good news is that today there are many ways to achieve this through the use of modern foundry consumables.
Melting accounts for 30% of energy consumption in the foundry. Improving the efficiency of this process is therefore a key concern. For example, energy consumption can be reduced by using insulating lining systems, such as the KALTEK range of products for iron and steel foundries, which reduce heat loss and preheating times. In one case study, for example, the use of KALTEK ISO halved ladle lining time, reduced drying time from 9 hours to just 1 hour and cut preheating time from 4 hours to just 1 hour - while improving service life by 35%.
In the aluminium sector, experience has shown that a dry lining of dosing furnaces is more effective than lining with monolithic lining systems which contain approx. 5 % water, saving up to 18% energy. Such a dry lining can be installed within one working week. The energy-intensive drying and sintering of the newly installed lining is reduced to a minimum. The use of highly insulating materials in furnaces and ladles ensures that the energy required for melting or keeping warm is reduced to a minimum - and thus also CO2 emissions.
SEDEX SUPER FLOW Filter
Despite the critical application conditions, on changing to SEDEX SUPER FLOW filters, the pouring time was maintained providing reliable manufacturing conditions. The reject rate was reduced by approximately 40 %.
KALTEK Multilife boards
The tapping temperature could be reduced by up to 20°C compared to conventional lining systems and the KALTEK board ladle system is much more efficient. The alumina based KALTEK system could be used for up to 5 times depending on the foundry requirements. Continuous use or cooling down and reuse of the ladle on the next shift or next day is now possible. Ladle preparation could be completed in less than 2 hours with a minimum of manpower and in more worker-friendly conditions.
Due to the minimised installation time, the furnace can taken back into service quickly. The extremely low conrundum growth leads to an easy furnace cleaning. The highly insulating backing materials generate a h uge energy saving.
FEEDEX NF1 exotherme Speiser für den Nichteisenbereich
Due to the use of FEEDEX NF1 sleeves, the number of sleeves and their volume was significantly reduced. A saving of 9 kg of Aluminium was achieved. This leads to lower fettling effort and less recycling material. The energy- and therefore CO2 savings due to less remelting material is remarkable.