ABP Induction, a pioneer in the field of low-pressure pouring, has developed the OCN furnace system for the application of the low-pressure pouring process in steel pouring. The OCN furnace system developed for this process is so far the only system for the low-pressure pouring of steel castings, which has proven itself in industrial practice in continuous operation. This new development has made it possible to produce thin-walled steel castings, which are particularly in demand for lightweight construction in the automotive sector, an exciting building block for companies, especially in terms of cost reduction, production efficiency and environmental awareness.
Although composite materials such as CFRP and lightweight materials such as aluminium or magnesium have outstanding lightweight construction potential, they also have numerous drawbacks in comparison with steel. Because among other things, the primary material is significantly more expensive and not suitable for all castings. As it is possible to produce steel in low-pressure pouring in a way that is load-bearing and has thinner walls, the material yields a significant advantage. It is also easy to handle in globally available final assembly processes and also for repairs.
ABP Induction has developed the OCN furnace system for the application of the low-pressure pouring process in steel pouring
“It is therefore worth taking a closer look at steel processing in low-pressure pouring processes, which ABP is now focusing on,” explains Markus Hagedorn, Sales Manager Liquid Metals at ABP Induction.
“This opens up new possibilities for the production of steel castings. On the one hand, this is the optimisation of existing component series and types for a cost and resource-efficient production using the low-pressure pouring process. At the same time, there is also the opportunity to open up new markets in comparison to alternative production methods and to sustain highly competitive markets thanks to the quality and cost benefits that this renders.”
Feedback from ABP Induction’s customers shows that the advantages mentioned substantially increase the cost-effectiveness of the process in comparison to gravity pouring
“This facilitates the production of lightweight structures made of high-strength materials, especially for large series in the automotive industry, as well as thin-walled steel castings, which are an important prerequisite for future applications based on the changing requirements of e-mobility.”
“Thin-walled steel castings offer the most favourable compromise between design on the one hand and component and system costs on the other. This is especially relevant for junctions and connecting elements of the body-in-white, as well as other structurally relevant parts of future e-mobility vehicles in the passenger car and commercial vehicle sector.”
“The procedure not only saves energy compared to conventional processes due to the smaller quantities of input material. As the CO2 emissions from steel production are about six times lower than those from the manufacture of similar aluminium products, lightweight steel casting is gaining importance enormously, especially in times when resource and energy efficiency are of the essence.”
“The time factor is also important. Those who act now can seize the opportunity for a unique selling proposition and the development of new castings and markets,” explains Hagedorn.
ABP Induction has developed the OCN furnace system
“To enable the low-pressure pouring process to be used in steel pouring, ABP Induction has developed the OCN furnace system together with its highly experienced partners. This is so far the only system for low-pressure pouring of steel castings that has proven itself in industrial practice in continuous operation. The furnace system with modern IGBT converter technology is designed for steel, iron and non-ferrous castings. The application for producing bronze and copper components is also possible with the above-mentioned benefits,” ABP CTO Dr. Marco Rische highlights.
The possible layout in your foundry
“Components with a thickness of up to 0.8mm have been realised in low-pressure pouring. In practice, the average has currently settled at 1.5mm to 2mm for components with a length of up to 1.2 metres. Thanks to the ABP pressure control, corresponding casting moulds can be completely filled within a few seconds, without the risk of blowholes or pores if the process is properly controlled.”
“Feedback from our customers shows that the advantages mentioned above substantially increase the cost-effectiveness of the process in comparison to gravity pouring,” conclude Rische.
ABP Induction technical paper:
Best perspectives for steel and iron in low-pressure pouring processes
by Markus Hagedorn, Yilmaz Yildir, Dr. Moritz Spichartz and Dr. Marco Rische
Best perspectives for steel and iron in low-pressure die-casting. The technically and economically advantageous alternative is low-pressure casting. If you think about gravity pouring it is still the market-dominating process for the production of iron and steel castings. The principle is quite straightforward and has basically remained unchanged for several centuries. Yet, more and more filigree and complex component geometries as well as increasing quality requirements are confronting foundries with ever greater challenges. The process-related limitations of gravity pouring lead to high scrap rates, especially for structural components with wall thicknesses below 4mm . Moreover, thin-walled structures such as these can only be poured using large quantities of recycled material. This means that the goals of sustainable and environmentally friendly production cannot be achieved.
To enable the low-pressure pouring process to be used in steel pouring, ABP Induction has developed the OCN furnace system together with its highly experienced partners. Thin-walled steel castings offer the most favourable compromise between design on the one hand and component and system costs on the other
But think about low-pressure casting. It has already been used to produce cast steel components with thicknesses of up to 0.8mm. Even filigree contours can be excellently designed with this process. Wall thicknesses of 1.5m to 2mm have become established in practice, with part dimensions of up to 1.2 metres. In contrast to gravity pouring, a much smaller sprue and feeder system is required, which significantly reduces the amount of recycled material . Less recycled material reduces the costs for fettling, deburring and remelting. The reduction of recycled and scrap material reduce the energy required per kilogram of good pours by up to 50 per cent. Smaller quantities of liquid material and lower pouring temperature also lead to reduced use of moulding material. This further reduces energy consumption and the associated costs. Additionally, material can be saved in the design phase by reducing the wall thickness.
All the advantages of the low-pressure pouring process apply to steel and iron pouring, just as they do to aluminium. Low-pressure pouring in steel pouring is the way of the future. The avoidance of mixed materials of light metals and steel makes it possible to use conventional joining processes . In addition, the importance of casting in lightweight steel construction is growing, as the CO2 emissions from steel production are up to six times lower than those from the manufacture of comparable aluminium products .
Actually, ABP Induction has developed the appropriate OCN furnace system for low-pressure steel pouring following extensive preliminary tests and is already being successfully put to use . The performance of this low-pressure technology and pouring system and the resulting opportunities for the design and manufacture of steel castings will be presented in this article.
The full version of this paper is available to download at: https://www.abp-blog.de/en/page/3/