A shortened melting-free process, reduced gas consumption and an improved material yield: to increase still more the efficiency of your StrikoMelter melting furnaces, the StrikoWestofen Group (Gummersbach) has now developed a heat-resistant shaft cover. This so-called “hot gas baffle” reduces the duration of the melting-free process during furnace cleaning by approx. 20 minutes each time. “We have now been able to develop a material which permanently stands up to the high exhaust gas temperatures of about 900 degrees Celsius,” developer Rudolf Hillen from StrikoWestofen explains. “The hot gas baffle not only reduces the energy consumption during the melting-free process by about 15 percent: the overall efficiency of the system also rises by about five percent.”
Efficiency in day-to-day foundry operation means more than just keeping energy consumption and metal losses low. The availability of the system also makes a substantial contribution – every hour of downtime means a loss of revenue. Nevertheless, regular maintenance cycles for the melting furnaces during day-to-day melting operation are indispensable in order to ensure the permanent efficiency and high performance of the systems. This includes furnace cleaning, which is usually carried out once per shift. During this process, the melting chamber has to be melted free at full burner power. Only then can the remaining dross be removed. “The duration of the melting-free process has an immediate effect on the productivity of the system and should therefore be as short as possible,” explains StrikoWestofen manager Rudi Riedel. Against this background, the manufacturer of thermal process technology has now developed a hot gas baffle which covers the melting shaft. The design withstands the exhaust gas temperatures which develop during the melting-free process. “The shaft cover reduces the production downtime accumulating during the melting-free process by about 20 minutes per shift. As a result, one more hour is available for production each day,” Riedel explains. “At the same time, the energy consumption during the melting-free process is by about 15 percent. The hot gas baffle also reduces the consumption of cleaning salts.”
An investment that pays off
The fire-resistant shaft cover is available for all StrikoMelter melting furnaces and can also be retrofitted to existing systems. “Our hot gas baffle is especially efficient when used with furnace sizes displaying a melting performance of upwards of two tonnes of aluminium per hour,” explains developer Rudolf Hillen from the StrikoWestofen Group. In systems with a performance upwards of this figure, the payback period for an investment of this kind is usually less than one year in length.