The rapid growth of aluminum recycling has raised the awareness for chemical contamination in both the foundry and wrought product sectors. The spectacular success of UBC recycling was only possible because novel technology was developed to solve difficult contamination issues.
Potential and novel technologies, including premelt separation, separation during melting and postmelt impurity removal are discussed to set the stage for a new contaminant—namely lithium. It is quite likely that the growing use of Al-Li alloys for aerospace applications will increase the likelihood of Li contamination in other alloy systems. Existing evidence shows that serious adverse effects on molten metal quality will be encountered at low Li levels. Additional work is required to completely understand the effect of only a few ppm on the properties of the finished casting.
Potential methods of postmelting lithium removal are presented along with a potential in situ real time lithium monitoring technique.
KeywordsChemical Impurity Alkali Element Aluminum Recycling Ceramic Foam Filter Alcoa Technical
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