Novel feeder technology for increased sustainability during steel and iron casting
|Coordinator||Swerea SWECAST AB|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 500 000|
|Project duration||November 2017 - June 2018|
|Venture||The strategic innovation programme for Production2030|
Purpose and goal
The aim of this prestudy was to verify and demonstrate the possibility to industrially implement a novel technique to radically make the casting of steel and ductile iron more effective with respect to output and sustainability aspects. The technique uses inductional heating to control and enhance the feeding of melt into the mould. Traditionally, the yield at steel casting is very low since the feeders themselves contribute with up to half of the casting weight.
Expected results and effects
The technique is to date untested for iron and steel and not custom to industrial use. Successful pilot- and full scale trials indicates a large potential for Swedish foundry industry to pioneer if the technique can be upscaled to large-scale production. This might change the established truth about the casting of iron and steel, reduce the carbon footprint of casting, and increase the competitiveness of Swedish foundries by enhancing material exchange, quality, and productivity. The long-term vision is to develop feeder-free casting, with highest possible resource efficiency.
Planned approach and implementation
In the test and demonstration plant at Swerea SWECAST, the feasibility of the concept was first examined for steel. The casting process was optimised by innovative use of standardised software for simulation and verified in pilot-scale trials. The possibilities of the technique was then evaluated in industrial scale for existing cast steel and ductile iron products where the casting process was modified for induction assisted feeding. The economical potential of the concept was estimated from the performance of the cast material as well as from expected produtivity increase.