Russian aluminium giant U.C. Rusal said on Thursday it has finished the installation of a new system for automated cleaning of crude aluminium from crucibles at the Khakas aluminium smelter (KhAZ).
The system is the result of a US$2.7 million investment by the firm and is expected to yield an increase in both the share of aluminium alloys and the value-added products produced at the site. Rusal notes that such products are in strong demand in the rolling, automotive, food, aircraft and construction industries.
KhAZ’s new system was built in Canada and processes the metal in a 10-metric-ton crucible, removing alkaline and alkaline earth metals from the liquefied aluminium within. Additionally, the treatment of aluminium in crucible (TAC) system reduces the amount of non-metallic inclusions in the molten aluminium and results in a completely automated system.
Rusal’s CEO Evgenii Nikitin provided a background on the project in a related press release.
“Improving the quality and purity of the products is a key goal in our modernisation programme, that is currently being carried out across RUSAL’s production facilities. The TAC cleaning system has been operating for two years at the Sayanogorsk aluminum plant, and we are well aware of its advantages – it not only reduces metallurgical losses, but also decreases the personnel workload as the process can be completed through automation. Moreover, with the new cleaning system reaching its design performance, KhAZ will be able to significantly increase the pool of potential consumers for its products.”
Rusal says the new unit will be commissioned within the month and tests with molten metal will be close behind. The firm hopes to have the new equipment put into commercial operation by year’s end.