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Why it is recommended to use high quality casting alloys of aluminum silicon group.
For businesses producing complex important parts and items of aluminum alloys by casting into iron mold or under pressure it is typical to have a certain amount of all kinds of defects and defective moldings. They come to 2-3.5% with ordinary parts and 10% with complex ones (the majority of refined casting alloys of primary aluminum in Russia is made by 2 foundries – Novokuznetsk aluminum plant and Kamalko, not considering Bogoslovsky aluminum plant, and unrefined silumins e.g. silicon foundry alloys produced by Bratsk, Nadvoitsk plants of primary aluminum and others as well as KrAmZ. For secondary refined alloys (made by PZCM, SamZAS, RyazAZ and others) the number comes to 40-55% of defects, and to 90% for those producing of slag and chipping (like Vtormet) irrespectively of expensive and modern equipment that they may use for refining. There are undetected defects that reveal themselves during the guarantee period.
They cause economic harm to businesses that have to replace parts within the guarantee period or after it. They also cause moral damage which is hard to count and ruin the reputation of the product and the producer himself. Why do Japanese, Korean and other firms buy АК5М2, DIN226, ADC12 etc. produced of recycled materials of slag and chipping while we keep on saying that no expensive refining lines can raise the quality of such alloys? We mean the following figures (not more than 1 point of porosity, not more than 0.03% of aluminum oxide, trace contaminant not more than the standard rate, absence of extrinsic and harmful substances, average level of leaktightness and hydro resistance, average tightness for high-quality alloys and hydrodurability). So how is it possible to make high quality alloy (very similar to the primary one) out of an ingot produced of recycled materials? The answer can be found in a monograph by the famous Russian scientist V. I. Nikitin titled «Heredity in cast alloys».
This work obviously has been properly studied by Japanese, Korean and other specialists. It says it is needed to ERASE or ZERO alloy heredity. In our opinion aluminum melt should be heated to 2500 C and quickly cooled to about 750 C being let through copper funnel wintered with water, and also at a metal modulation in a mixer continuously to influence ultrasound, during this process from 15 to 30% of the metal can be lost for good. Then in most cases it is recommended to refresh the alloy by primary aluminum adding not more than 20% to adjust other admixtures. And finally it is necessary to adjust so called «extrinsic» impurities (we promise to reveal the secret in January 2010, see the news issue of 12.11.2009) then slag impurities, oxygen and a part of oxide scabs must be got rid of by using well-known refining lines and foam-ceramic filters. Thus considering all above mentioned the price for alloys made of slag and shavings is like that of London Stock Exchange and is sure to increase by 150-180% so the customers interested in such products can get an alloy very similar to what is manufactured by Kamalko, Novokuznetsk and Bogoslovsky aluminum plants. It means that they sell their alloys at the price that is 2 times cheaper then the cost of the alloys made of secondary ones.
So what prevents foreign companies from buying refined primary alloys from NKAZ and Kamalko having no problems with defects? Why do they buy alloys in Russia made of slag and shavings getting their flaws as well or having to remake them into high quality ones as described above? It is strange but one of the reasons is the ISO system that leads to buying cheaper alloys. The second reason is the absence of exact criteria «price-quality» so alloys differ only by their chemical structure at Stock Exchange. So it is very easy to make businesses from the countries with economy based on raw materials sell alloys of various quality at low prices, e.g. at the price of London Metal Exchange. Other reasons can be political ones when governments wish to provide their people with jobs involving deep refinement of raw materials avoiding developing the whole industry in Russia. They don’t seem to want to use goods of their home producers in the military industry.
At London Metal Exchange the price for secondary aluminum alloys is so low that it leads to the miserable price for aluminum items in foreign made automobile spare parts (5%) and is no sufficient reason for reducing their cost.
At the same time their price in Russian automobile spare parts (important ones) can come to 50% and even more. In our opinion nowadays there is a wrong economical approach to using aluminum raw material both in Russia and Europe. Aluminum alloys of doubtful quality are purchased by commercial departments of businesses at low price for increasing economical statistics that leads to great problems for manufacturers while spoilage and defects make these alloys more expensive than analogous primary alloys. Spoilage goes to a second, a third, a fourth, a fifth remelt and so on, THE REAL PERCENTAGE OF SPOILAGE IS KEPT BACK FROM A BUSINESS OWNER, as well as from the shareholders. It is very hard or even impossible to check the balances especially if «interested» hired managers are against it. Thus casters either languish in poverty or go bankrupt like most Russian casters. European businesses do not have such a situation as they have almost tenfold safety factor because of miser prices for aluminum alloys at London Metal Exchange in comparison with ready products.
Nevertheless specialists realize that quality results from raw materials that are 30-40% more, as the cost of producing quality alloy are higher than just refining wastes or slag and shavings. But corruption schemes of kickback are much more pleasant and cheap alloys of slag and shavings are more likely to bring profits.
No doubt that economical figures are different for different businesses and it is not hard for experts to calculate that it is real to reduce defects as much as possible by choosing the proper quality of raw materials. So even high prices for quality raw materials as they may seem at first will be indemnified, profits will increase, defects, their reprocessing, consuming electricity, gas and additional materials will decrease. That means that IT IS RECOMMENDED TO PURCHASE ONLY EXPENSIVE PRIMARY REFINED ALLOYS OF HIGH QUALITY FOR PRODUCING SPARE PARTS FOR AUTOMOBILES AND RESPONSIBLE PARTS, and it will be cheaper than the cheapest alloys of slag and shavings.
For alloys of slag and shavings there is a huge export market which is impossible to fill, they are needed for cheap unimportant components.
We are ready to support our point of view at the talks with our customers and prove not to managers (who are often not interested in it) but OWNERS of some Russian and foreign foundry and other profile businesses that our position is correct.