Safety for people and equipment: this is a hot topic, especially in aluminium foundries where liquid metal is handled. With the new “Schnorkle”, liquid aluminium is transported from the melting furnace to the melting or holding furnaces in a closed container and introduced there using a transfer pipe without the need for tipping. With no contact to the atmosphere, the system ensures optimum safety and constant quality of the melt as the process chain between central melting aggregate and die-casting system is now closed.
High process reliability and occupational safety are two important pillars of optimum day-to-day foundry work. This is why StrikoWestofen (Gummersbach) has developed a new transport system with which hot liquid metal can be safely transported from the melting furnace to the dosing or holding furnace. “The idea behind this innovation was to consistently eliminate potential dangers like those which can occur in each phase of the process due to the handling of liquid aluminium,” explains Rudi Riedel, Managing Director of StrikoWestofen. “This is the only way to reliably prevent errors.” It could also allow the insurance premium for foundries to be reduced.
Schnorkle: closed system
The new completely closed “Schnorkle” transport system is the solution for achieving more process reliability and occupational safety. Schnorkle is filled directly at the melting furnace – either by hydraulic tilting of the furnace, from the tapping valve or from a pump pocket using a pump. The pressure-tight cover is closed using one hand wheel only and is transported to the dosing or holding furnace using a transport system such as a fork-lift truck. Pressure is applied to safely fill the melt into the dosing and holding furnace via a riser tube with no danger of spilling. The compressed air supply necessary for this is either connected on-site using a quick connect coupling or is provided by a compressor on the fork-lift truck. A ready-to-install compressor is also available for Schnorkle as an optional accessory. With this option, the melt can be transferred to the dosing and holding furnace and the operator does not need to leave the fork-lift truck. Thanks to Schnorkle, it is no longer necessary to tip casting ladles at a great height using a lift truck.
Better metal quality and constant temperature
Treatment of the melt using impellers can also be performed directly in Schnorkle without the need for transferring it to another container. The new system then ensures that the metal quality is preserved until the die-casting process begins. The flow rate of the melt coming from Schnorkle can be adjusted to allow low-turbulence transferral and minimize oxide formation. As a result of the closed system, Schnorkle has only low heat loss and keeps the melt at a constant temperature. As it is no longer necessary to overheat the melt, the energy consumption of the foundry can be further reduced. The Schnorkle system is completed by a special preheating unit which requires considerably less gas than conventional ladle preheating systems.