Ultrasound processing cuts cost of aluminium alloy production

Ultrasound processing cuts cost of aluminium alloy production

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A pilot scale study conducted by researchers at Brunel University London affirmed that ultrasound
treatment could be a much cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to remove hydrogen from aluminium alloys. Prof Dmitry Eskin of the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology led a research project which discovered that using ultrasound was actually a preferable method, by a number of measures. Ultrasound processing uses less energy, produces less waste, and removes the most costly parts of the process, whilst  achieving the same efficiency.

The team performed the pilot study using samples of up to 150 kg. The tests confirmed earlier findings that a moving ultrasound probe could provide similar results to the traditional argon
rotary degassing. They observed that using ultrasound led to a five-fold reduction in dross (waste material). Useable metal can be recovered from dross; however it requires electrolysis which is energy intensive and costly. Prof Eskin’s research team now aims to find out ways to introduce ultrasound degassing in the earlier stages of the production process and also perform trials using larger quantities of up to half-tons.