Reducing production costs in large castings through the use of innovative filtration systems

The use of filters offers great potential for reducing costs in the production of large iron and steel castings. It also provides further interesting advantages in the production chain.

Udicell foam ceramic filter

The use of filter products is critical to the success of foundries around the world. The removal of impurities and the reduction of turbulences by filters are nowadays essential components of every foundry operation. Depending on the filter technology used, not only is the metal purity improved, but production costs can also be drastically reduced by minimising improvement work and reducing scrap. Particularly fully sintered foam ceramic filters, manufactured from partially stabilised zirconia (PSZ), are the first choice when used in steel and iron foundries. ASK Chemicals manufactures filters made of high-purity zirconia (PSZM) alongside the standard zirconium oxide filters (PSZT) as one of the few suppliers worldwide.

High cost savings through the use of filters
Thanks to their chemical, thermal and mechanical robustness, Udicell filters are very durable and therefore highly recommended in the manufacture of steel and iron castings in large castings, especially in the manufacture of castings in the high single-digit to double-digit tonnage ranges. The requirements placed on the manufacturing processes in large casting require clever solutions to enjoy the advantages and the cost saving effect of filtration with foam ceramic filters. Because, on the one hand, this segment is about the efficient use of filter material with high casting tonnages, and on the other hand, the aspect of process reliability. Avoiding filter breakage is an extremely relevant aspect, especially in large castings with small quantities but with very high tonnages/piece.

The graph illustrates an example of the possible cost savings when using the Exactfill filtration system. These values will of course vary depending on the particular use and corresponding application, because the starting conditions are different for each user

Special filter shapes for large castings
ASK Chemicals has succeeded in enhancing the design of tubular and cylindrical foam ceramic filters in such a way that these filters can be used in both steel and iron castings for large and ultra-large castings. Well thought out structures and geometries, combined with a housing system designed for simple and safe handling, enable faster and more effective installation. Using the pouring system(s) that are often already present, there are numerous possible combinations that offer a solution for almost all applications.

An example of a large casting used in the wind power industry

An example of where large castings are used in the wind power industry

Cost savings when using filtration systems in large castings
Reduce process costs with large casting filters. The efficient system reveals its strengths when considering the process costs: Through the filter performance, robustness of the material and self-supporting geometry of the filter, the advantage of the solution is particularly evident in the very cost-intensive finishing and machining of castings. Foundries can achieve considerable savings in energy consumption, tool wear and working hours. Use in practice shows that a total reduction in process costs of up to 57% is possible and not uncommon.

Exactfill housing system with a tubular filter

In some cases, it is possible to reduce the total finishing effort to a minimum. Users have reported impressive advantages here. Another positive factor, which is sometimes only visible at second glance when using the innovative filtration system, should not be left unmentioned: The significantly faster overall throughput of the parts from the customer order to delivery! In addition to all the other advantages already mentioned, this real time-saving effect is usually difficult to assess in monetary terms, but it is still present and a further valuable addition to the advantages of the Exactfill filter system. So rein in the costs by using innovative filtration systems from ASK Chemicals. Their engineers will be happy to advise you on site or by phone and help you make your production process more cost-effective.