Foundries melt down input materials of different qualities. Ingots / pig iron or cupola are included as well as lumpy scrap metal and chips which accrue during milling and turning. Chips should not, however, be fed into the oven in loose form, but should rather be briquetted first. There are various different reasons for this. Warehousing and logistics are thus simplified significantly and the charging effort is reduced thanks to extreme volume reduction.
Another factor is even more important, however: cooling lubricants often adhere to the chips. Average residual moisture values range between 10 and 15 percent. This circumstance proves to be very problematic when it comes to melting. With high-performance briquetting presses – like the ones produced by Ruf Mechanical Engineering – the moisture value can be reduced to under three percent for aluminium and under two percent for cast iron. For this reason, and because briquettes sink in the molten metal, the burn-off loss of the compressed chips in the furnace is significantly lower. By implication, the metal yield is higher.
Furthermore, power consumption as well as melting times are reduced – both of which are important factors for efficiency improvement in melting plants. Foundry companies also value the fact that they can melt down metallurgically familiar material again in briquette form, instead of having to sell it in loose form for a low price. This way, high material procurement costs are saved.
Foundries can, however, only achieve such results if the correct briquetting technology is being applied and the quality of the machine is adequate. Ruf has meanwhile more than 50 years of experience and more than 4,500 briquetting systems in use around the world. Its comprehensive know-how helps the company to constantly further develop its machines. Different hydraulic systems with a specific pressing power of up to 5,000 kg/cm² are available and can be selected according to the material, chip quality and primary intended purpose.
Customers can also choose according to their requirements when it comes to throughput capacities, which lie between 30 and 4,800 kg/hour. At the same time, RUF systems are all compactly constructed, which means that they only require a small amount of floor space and are suitable for fully automatic 24-hour operation.