|Recovered clean metal, ready to be melted.|
| The Didion® Rotary Separator/Metal Reclaimer with a variable jet burner to remove moisture. |
Around the world today, and notably in the world of metalcasting, there are numerous widely used and repeated catchphrases today such as “your carbon footprint”, “going green”, “zero discharge”, and “beneficial reuse.” The purpose of these phrases is persuasion: to persuade us of the importance of preserving our natural resources for future generations. Some peope throw these phrases around to be fashionable while others are totally committed to the cause.
A medium-sized foundry accumulated over 6,200 tons of metal fines waste from its melting operation, with no place except the dump to dispose of that material. Not accepting the dump as an option, a team of foundry engineers began researching other possibilities. This is the point at which Didion came into the picture: a series of tests were run to determine the useable metal content of the waste stream that had been accumulating at the foundry over the previous four years.
The first test was completed, the results tabulated, and the material was returned to the foundry. Not long after the customer received the test results and material, they called to request a second test. They couldn’t believe the waste stream had a metal content that was so high. Perhaps they had drawn the sample from a rich part of the pile? After a second and third test were completed, confirming the original results, the foundry management and operators were truly excited by the possibilities of payback, and anticipated savings in the future.
Instead, to recover the metal fines from the waste stream, the equipment builder supplied a Didion® Rotary Separator/Metal Reclaimer with a variable jet burner, and a Conveyor Dynamics Feed Conveyor. The system was designed with a dust-tight Load Hopper to be loaded by a front-end loader and metered into the Didion® Rotary Separator. This un-manned, stand-alone system installed at a location outside the plant (and close to the charging/ melt department) has to-date reclaimed over 1,500 tons of valuable metal that otherwise would have gone into a landfill as waste, and a lost opportunity for cost savings.
“When we started accumulating the metal fines waste stream four years ago we couldn’t even give it away for free, much less sell it,” according to the foundry’s staff environmental engineer. “With the addition of the Metal Fines Reclaim System we will continue to recover 1% of metal for every ton of metal melted, permanently increasing our utilization of scrap while taking another step in reaching our company goal of Net Zero Waste.”
The operation’s general supervisor now refers to that same waste pile as “Our bank account.”
“The system has proven to be very efficient,” he said recently. “We are one year ahead of schedule in our effort to clean up the site.”