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ALTEK’s Electromagnetic Stirring Technology Reduces Energy Consumption, Dross Generation at Hydro Henderson Facility

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April 16, 2021

ALTEK’s Electromagnetic Stirring Technology Reduces Energy Consumption, Dross Generation at Hydro Henderson Facility

Furnace circulation is a well-known process throughout the aluminum industry for maximizing productivity while minimizing energy and dross generation. While the capital costs of retrofitting a circulation device to an existing furnace can be significant, the return on investment can be relatively quick. At the Hydro Henderson facility in Kentucky (U.S.), ALTEK’s implementation of its SIBERFORCE® electromagnetic stirrer (EMS) yielded lower amounts of dross generation and energy consumption.
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Project Introduction

The Hydro Henderson facility in Kentucky was built in 2000 with a production capacity of 90,000 metric tons of metal annually. The plant processes a mix of customer-generated extrusion scrap, process-generated and end-of-life scrap from processors, and traders and primary metal to fill the plant’s capacity.

The first installation of electromagnetic stirring (EMS) on a reverberatory melter for aluminum scrap was made in 1968 at Kaiser Aluminum (Trentwood, Washington, U.S.). However, it was not until the late 1990s that EMS and pumping became more accepted within the industry as the market began to recognize the huge benefits to be gained from stirring furnaces.

There are many different types of devices available to circulate a furnace. EM stirrers are the system most widely considered in cast houses for indirect (contactless) stirring. However, the limitations with traditional water-cooled EM stirrers are the significant power requirements necessary to generate the magnetic fields, as well as the concerns with regard to safety and maintenance of the water-cooled inductor.