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.
Even relatively small differences in energy efficiency can result in significant energy cost savings relative to the cost of the crucible. ENERTEK crucibles are specifically designed to maximise thermal conductivity and achieve the highest energy efficiency when holding aluminium. Performance differences compared to competitive products vary depending on the quality of the material from which these crucibles are made, but are typically between 5 and 15%.
These are just a few of our solutions that can help you use energy more efficiently in your foundry. Would you like to learn more? Then download our e-book "Energy efficient casting - solutions for foundries" now.