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A sound way to degas aluminum melts

By Gerald Ondrey |

During casting of aluminum alloys, degassing is required to remove hydrogen from the molten metal in order to prevent porosity in the solid metal that deteriorates its properties and performance. Currently, the so-called argon rotary degassing is used, where a porous graphite rotor is submerged into the melt and Ar is purged through the rotor to the bottom of the bulk melt. Although well established, Ar rotary degassing has some drawbacks, such as high dross formation and potential damage of the graphite rotor with subsequent melt contamination; it is also energy intensive and consumes expensive Ar, explains professor Dmitry Eskin of the Brunel Center for Advanced Solidification Technology, Brunel University London (U.K.; www.brunel.ac.uk/bcast). Having proved that ultrasound degassing of molten aluminum alloys is cleaner, “greener” and just as efficient as current methods, a team of scientists from Brunel University, working within a European consortium, is developing a continuous process that will allow the degassing of much larger melt volumes and upstream from the casting mold, says Eskin. The Brunel researchers have developed a plate sonotrode — a part that transmits ultrasound to the melt — that has been shown to be more…
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