Recycling International – March/April issue 2023
Page 33 from: Recycling International – March/April issue 2023
These could be:
• 0.4% < Mg <0.9%,
• 0.2% < Si <0.6%,
• <0.1% Mn,
• <0.1% Zn,
• <0.35% Fe
• <0.1% Cu
With the help of such a unique feature, users
can be confident about purity of above 95% in
an extracted fraction that can be directed to
smelters with no additional blending. It is truly
a green way to avert primary aluminium con-
sumption by adjusting scrap composition
before it is loaded into a smelter.
Austin AI is often asked by recyclers: ‘Do we
need X-ray Transmission (XRT) or X-ray
Fluorescence (XRF) if we run a LIBS sensor
sorter?’ XRT, XRF and LIBS technology-based
sensor sorters have their own unique applica-
tions and advantages. So the answer depends
on the material what recyclers want to sort.
For Zorba, for example, XRT is an ideal, fast
and efficient technique to start with. XRT sort-
ers are just like medical X-rays: sortation is
based on a physical parameter, namely the
density differences. Although, LIBS works well,
XRT is the best way to separate ‘lights’ from
‘heavies’. Further steps to gain distinguished
groups from heavies can be done by XRF or
LIBS. LIBS is a great choice when sortation
begins with the ‘lights’ infeed, especially if sili-
con content is an issue and/or magnesium-
based alloys are of interest.
The specialty of Austin AI LIBS is that, starting
with either wrought or cast aluminium main
groups, the sorter can provide alloy specific sorta-
tion of both groups. Low concentration differenc-
es are well detected. Cu and Fe (<0.1%) cast alu-
minium alloys are already working applications.
Aerospace and car industry tend to dominate
with more and more lightweight magnesium-
based alloys and we are receiving more
requests for magnesium-based alloy sortation.
This is another one of the key applications we
traditionally have been able to perform.
Here is a brief overview of the advantages of a
worldwide patented Austin AI LIBS sensor sorter:
• No moving or wear parts outside of the air-
jet diverter valves and the feeders.
• The system has the lowest cost of operation.
• The material is forced, by proprietary (shoot
from below) engineering design, through a
laser focal point to ensure each piece is sub-
ject to the LIBS analytical process.
• Each system is designed to a capacity of six
process lanes, with each lane capable of han-
dling a single stream of material at nearly
• Each lane can be easily populated with a
LIBS sensor module, giving a single system
the capacity of six times that of normal single
• Small footprint.
Additionally, the laser used for the excitation
process is fully solid state and of a class used
for metal cutting. At a rep rate of 50 000 Hz,
the system is capable of ‘burning’ through
most painted, oxidised, and otherwise con-
taminated scrap material.
The proprietary, industrial spectrometer is
designed for high performance in terms of
alloys sorting. Achieving sub-class alloys sort-
ing at reasonable purities and efficiencies is
All of this, says Comtois, delivers an ‘outstand-
ing analytical performance’. ‘With our high
performance, newly developed Gen#2 LIBS
modules we can sort most of the critical alloy-
ing elements with a threshold as low as 0.1%.’
The flagship model is the six-lane/six-sensor
design, offering high capacity and high-effi-
ciency alloy specific scrap sorting for second-
ary smelters and the recycling industry.
A new, single lane LIBS-based sensor sorting
system is ideal for R&D purposes and/or low
The LIBS technology-based WheelSorter sys-
tem can assess large car parts, such as wheels,
with a throughput capacity of >10 TPH. No
shredder processing is required.
‘Across the entire aluminium industry, investing
in recycling has currently become the pre-
ferred initiative to reduced carbon emissions in
the smelting process,’ Comtois underlines.
‘When you are aiming towards carbon neutrali-
ty, sustainability, green aluminium production,
etc. consider Austin AI innovative LIBS tech-
nology as the final key.’
And he adds: ‘Truly, only melt the alloy you
want to cast. It saves fuel and increases fur-
nace turns per day. Given a fully loaded cost
of under two cents a pound, it’s a true
‘Only melt the alloy you want to cast. It saves fuel
and increases furnace turns per day.’
At a rep rate of 50 000 Hz, the system is capable
of ‘burning’ through most painted, oxidised, and
otherwise contaminated scrap material.
@ ISRI 2023 Nashville, Booth #803,
@ BIR 2023 Amsterdam, Booth #S8,
Austin AI, Inc., Austin /Texas, USA.
Email: [email protected], Phone: +1 512-837-9400
Austin AI Europe Ltd., Budapest/Hungary.
Email: [email protected], Phone: +36 309-545-146
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