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Indian breakthrough: aluminium recyclers can cut costs up to 30%

A researcher in India has found a way to recycle aluminium that could allow small plants to produce high-graded aluminium ingots ‘with enhanced metallurgical and mechanical properties’.

The new recycling method was developed by professor Chandragandhi Bhagyanathan of by Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College in Coimbatore. The mechanical engineering expert explains that his appraoch consists of incorporating special alloys in quantities that remove metal impurities, improve characteristics, and enhance quality.

‘Previously, only chemical composition could be ensured but not quality,’ says professor Bhagyanatha. ‘The recycling method I have devised involves adding of alloying elements such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium, boron, zirconium and strontium, which will enhance the metal’s overall properties,’ he adds.

He believes that this process will help small-scale operators to remove impurities such as tin, lead, and iron from molten aluminium scrap. ‘My team has devised sedimentation and filtration techniques – introduced in the furnace – to remove such impurities,’ he goes on to state.

Professor Bhagyanathan points out that only large aluminuim firms are now capable of producing a steady stream of high-quality ingots, which is the feedstock for most casting processes. ‘By adopting my approach, small plants could produce premium quality ingots with existing infrastructure while cutting production costs by up to 30%,’ he concludes.

The aluminium recycling project is funded partly by the Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) programme run by by India’s Department of Science and Technology.

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