The metal casting industry is one of the most energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, with the melting process accounting for over half (55%) of its energy consumption. Although high energy expenses have been a significant concern of metal casters, the industry continues to use melting technologies offering poor energy efficiency, often sacrificing energy efficiency for product longevity. In this manufacturing environment, where energy costs are driving innovation and productivity, crucible thermal performance is being tested every day.
With a goal of generating longer service life and increased energy savings, Morgan Molten Metal Systems (MorganMMS) conducted extensive lab and field testing on its new line of Syncarb Z2 crucibles. Through this research, MorganMMS is proud to present the newest member of the Syncarb Z2 family, the Syncarb Z2 e² (Energy Efficiency) designed specifically for aluminum melting and hold- ing applications. The results show an operational performance that meets and often surpasses its competitors “energy” crucibles in both reduced energy consumption and durability.
MorganMMS uses a proprietary processing technology that results in a Syncarb Z2 product with a very homogenous and high density structure. The ceramic-bonded Syncarb Z2 e2 crucible was designed specifically to provide good chemical resistance against fluxes and excellent thermal conductivity in aluminum melting and holding applications. The inherent high mechanical strength allows the production of much larger crucibles. Other properties include outstanding oxida- tion resistance, high refractoriness and good thermal shock resistance. Other types of Syncarb Z2 crucibles are especially designed for use in zinc distillation applications as well as for melting and holding of copper and copper alloys.
The Syncarb Z2 e2 offers a 56% higher transverse breaking strength than the competitor’s “energy” crucible as shown in Figure 1. The Syncarb Z2 e2 crucible maintained integrity at relatively higher values, most likely due to the granulation of the mix, processing param- eters and advanced materials. The raw materials used in the Z2 mix along with the subsequent milling process by MorganMMS yields finer particles, which in turn means higher mechanical strength and increased durability for everyday foundry use.
Results show that the Syncarb Z2 e2 is mechanically more tolerant to stresses and damage, a significant benefit to customers regarding operation, handling and higher energy transfer (energy savings)
In any crucible, one of the leading cause of failure is the oxidation of its elements. In particular, as shown in Equation 1, the break- down of carbon into CO and CO2 create voids, reduce its mechanical strength and lead to poor thermal conductivity.
Equation 1 Oxidation of Carbon at High Temperatures: 3C+2O2 → 2CO+ CO2
Both the Syncarb Z2 e2 and the competitor’s crucible showed promising results in terms of oxidation resistance. However, through its advanced glaze technology, Syncarb Z2 e2 showed an average 10% increase in oxidation resistance in both five and ten day Loss On Ignition (LOI) tests.
The results are consistent: an average increase in oxidation resistance of 10% over time for the MorganMMS Syncarb Z2 e2 crucible verses the competitor’s “energy” crucible.
The transfer of energy through a crucible wall is dependent upon the thickness of the crucible and its thermal conductivity. Through advanced research, MorganMMS have been able to develop a crucible that has been scientifically proven by an independent lab to achieve superior thermal conductivity while maintaining a standard wall thickness. This achievement directly correlates to increased energy efficiency and savings to the customer in aluminum holding and melting applications.
It is important to note that thermal conductivity will degrade over time as the crucible oxidizes. This oxidation occurs slower in the MorganMMS Syncarb Z2 e2 crucibles. This reduced degradation combined with a higher thermal conductivity results in energy savings over the competitors not only when the crucible is new, but throughout its lifetime.
The result is a better transfer of heat energy into the metal by the Syncarb Z2 e2 throughout the lifecycle of the crucible. This translates into higher energy savings for the customer.
As a standard quality control procedure, MorganMMS routinely cross-sections its crucibles to check for proper structure in a way very similar to how customers check for proper metal quality. This type of analysis was conducted on the new Syncarb Z2 e2 and the com- petitor’s “energy” crucible and proved very helpful in understanding the physical strength and thermal conductivity differences. The MorganMMS crucible has a finer particle size distribution, which has an impact on its ability to resist mechanical stresses during operation and, as shown in practice, higher erosion resistance. Besides these mechanical advantages, the dense structure also allows for more energy to be transferred per unit area; thus, a higher thermal conductivity.
All this translates to longer run times, more heats, less energy usage and an overall solution advantage to MorganMMS customers.
MorganMMS line of Syncarb Z2 crucibles have not only proven themselves in the lab, but have done so in many customer operations throughout the world. This has lead to significant cost savings through their ability to survive in the harsh environments of copper melting and refining.
In fact: “We’ve experienced a very dramatic improvement in average crucible life with Z2 crucibles versus other products used in the past – two times the life in fact,” said MorganMMS customer, Carl Bednark of MetalTek International. “We expect the Syncarb Z2 crucible to have a major impact on our operations.”
The MMMS Technology Team, with its development of the Syncarb Z2 e2, has created a crucible designed specifi- cally for optimum energy savings and efficiency in aluminum melting and holding applications. Field test results show an operational performance that meets and often surpasses its competitors. The Syncarb Z2 e2 promises to have a positive impact on foundry performance and the customer’s bottom line.
Furthermore, MorganMMS is continuing to document energy and production savings at customers around the globe. These results and their next breakthrough in crucible technology will be shared as they become available to further prove that MorganMMS is delivering tomorrow solutions…. Today!