Liquid aluminum supply is has been in use for more than 40 years, according to Scharf-Bergmann. The latest technology offers a number of advantages to the end user. These include – metal delivered ready to cast, no melt loss compared to melting of ingots, consistent quality, lower emissions in the foundry, the transportation crucible can be used as holding furnace via new heating system, no maintenance cost for foundry for holding furnace, very little space required, no ingot inventory and therefore less financing cost, no future investment in melting and holding furnaces necessary. He says the cost savings can be as high as 200 /t
There a number of environmental advantages as well – there is no offgas volume from holding furnaces and therefore lower emissions, no dross formation and therefore less waste, and no offgas filtering equipment is necessary.
The distance from the refinery to the customer can be up to 600 km, as temperature losses can be equalised with a new heating device. All customers need to convert an existing plant is overhead crane equipment to lift the crucibles in a receiving bay of approximately 5 by 15 meters including heating and crucible tilting stations. In the case of new crucibles, no overhead crane is necessary as the trailer will be adjusted to the necessary height, and the crucible will be emptied through a bottom tap-hole.
Scharf-Bergmann says the concept has been proven in the field. One customer, who cannot be named for competitive reasons, converted to molten metal. He stopped the recycling of his foundry scrap and outsourced this activity to VAW-IMCO. The capacity of the foundry was 15,000 t/a of new metal plus the same volume of runners and risers, production rejects, skimmings, dross and turnings. After converting to molten metal, the company estimated savings at more than 4 million Euro a year from lower recycling cost of scrap plus all other cost savings plus savings on purchased metal coming from lower price volatility under a long-term agreement from a secure supply-source, he says.