Innovation in Essen foundry

Flexible fabric makes casting easier

A new system for pouring and transferring the liquid metal is used in the foundry at TRIMET's Essen site. The flexible pouring and transfer trough was developed at TRIMET specifically for on-site requirements. The innovative design increases work safety, simplifies work processes and reduces maintenance effort. 

Until now, filling and pouring at the casting furnaces was carried out using a construction of solid cast iron components weighing 126 kilograms each. The flexible pouring and transfer troughs are made of ceramic fabric. They weigh only six kilograms each and can be used flexibly. The system is the result of new approaches and intensive planning. The main challenge was to master a technical challenge: Up to 30 tons of liquid aluminum alloys of around 730 to 760 degrees Celsius are filled into or poured out of the casting furnaces at any one time. In the process, the furnaces are tilted up to an angle of 94 degrees. This leads to instabilities, which is why the use of transfer troughs made of flexible material has not been possible up to now. Existing technical solutions are designed for a maximum tilt angle of 35 degrees.

TRIMET has therefore developed its own solution that ensures smooth operation even at critical tilt angles of the casting furnace. Important findings for the design were provided by a bachelor thesis on this specific task. Thanks to close cooperation across departmental boundaries, the project was implemented quickly. A prototype manufactured by the "Maintenance, Service, Projects" (ISP) department was installed on casting line 216 in October 2021. After a successful test phase, the conversion of casting line 206 followed in January 2022. The new system is paying off: Lower material losses and optimized service life increase profitability and improve energy and resource efficiency.