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Sustainability Multi-Chamber Aluminum Melting Furnace Reduces Ecological Footprint

| Editor: Nicole Kareta

Eurometal S.A. has placed an order with Hertwich Engineering for the supply of an Ecomelt-PR100 multi-chamber melting furnace for the expansion of its aluminium casthouse in Klomnice, Poland. The plant, with a capacity of 30.000 tons per year, is scheduled to start operation in spring 2021.

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The new melting furnace will mainly process clean and painted extrusion and sheet scrap as well as smaller amounts of briquetted sawing and machining chips.
The new melting furnace will mainly process clean and painted extrusion and sheet scrap as well as smaller amounts of briquetted sawing and machining chips.
(Source: Hertwich Engineering GmbH)

The placement of the order for the new Ecomelt PR-100 multi-chamber melting furnace is part of an extensive investment strategy aimed to increase the production capacity at the existing casthouse in Klomnice. The low energy consumption values and the low emissions of this new melting furnace will reduce the ecological footprint of the Eurometal Group.

State of the Art Recycling Furnace

Eurometal S.A. has chosen a multi-chamber melting furnace with preheat ramp designed for a capacity of 100 tons per day (approximately 30.000 tons per year). The furnace will be integrated into the existing production chain – beginning with scrap recycling through billet casting and extrusion down to machining of components. This furnace type is best suited for the melting of loose scrap with moderate organic content.

The new melting furnace will mainly process clean and painted extrusion and sheet scrap as well as smaller amounts of briquetted sawing and machining chips. To achieve the required alloy composition, charged material will be supplemented by clean primary and secondary aluminium as needed. Also liquid metal from crucibles can be added.

Scrap will be charged partially loose, shredded or briquetted onto the dry ramp in the melting chamber by means of a rail-guided charging machine. During the charging process the working environment is protected from the furnace atmosphere.

The scrap will be preheated for around 30 minutes to a temperature of approximately 500 °C by an intense hot-gas flow. Thereby organic compounds are transformed into combustible gases to support the heating system of the main chamber. This way (using suitable scrap), some 50 – 7% of the energy otherwise supplied by natural gas can be substituted by the energy content of organic compounds.

After preheating, the decoated material is pushed from the ramp into the melting bath in the melting chamber. At the same time, the next scrap charge is placed onto the ramp by the charging machine. In the melting chamber, scrap is melted by the submerge-melting process to avoid oxidation and melt losses. An electromagnetic side channel pump provides the melt transfer between both furnace chambers as well as an adequate melt circulation in the main chamber to assure uniform temperature and alloy distribution.

Subsequently, the melt is transferred to the holding furnaces or crucibles by means of an electromagnetic tapping pump.

Additionally, Hertwich will supply a rail-guided skimming machine as well as a flue gas treatment plant to comply with emission regulations in place.

When the melting furnace, including the auxiliary equipment, will have started operation in spring 2021, Eurometal S.A. will own a state-of-the-art recycling plant that can be operated by one operator per shift (including charging, skimming and melt transfer). Along with the low energy consumption values (450 to 550 kWh/ton) and the notable, high-quality metal yield, this plant provides significant economic advantages.

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