The process whereby molten metal is solidified into a "semifinished" billet, bloom, or slab for subsequent rolling in the finishing mills.
It allows lower-cost production of metal sections with better quality, due to the inherently lower costs of continuous, standardized production of a product, as well as providing increased control over the process through automation
KM&M has a new vertical direct chill (DC) casting pit. This is the same process used worldwide to produce aluminum billet for extrusion and ingot for rolling, but we can produce batches as small as one billet to your precise compositional requirements. Billet diameters range from 3.2” (81 mm) up to 16.25” (413 mm), while ingot sizes range from 3.1” (80 mm) square up to 32”x12” (813x355mm). This allows clients to perform small-scale trials and pilot plant-scale work without the investment of purchasing several tons of materials.
We specialize in producing unique alloy compositions and rolling them to client requirements and in casting “compositional series” where multiple casts are made with slight composition variations between each set. We also offer airslip moulds in selected sizes, which provide improved surface finish and reduce or eliminate the necessity for scalp extrusion billet.
We operate with two electric melting furnaces, of 600 lbs and 1,200 lbs capacity, which allow us flexibility and the ability to keep high control on the aluminum purity and exact specifications. We can do a small cast of a few hundred pounds, or alternate the two furnaces to maximize our daily production.
For some projects, we can adjust the composition of the alloy between casting drops, becoming progressively ‘richer’ (i.e. more alloying elements) and allowing us to test a range of shades in the same alloy family. The furnace is cleaned and re-coated between each alloy composition change. We pay attention to all details that ensure you get the high-quality, on target, material that you need.
Strip casting is widely used in the aluminum business to go directly from liquid aluminum to a coil of metal suitable for further cold rolling. The efficiency improvement that comes from eliminating casting and hot rolling as well as the reduction in processing time makes this an economically attractive process.
At KMM-Aluminium we operate a pilot scale Twin Roll Casting (TRC) line comprising a 600lb tilting furnace that feeds liquid metal to a pair of water cooled rolls, 450mm wide, that rapidly solidify the metal into a strip between 3mm and 8mm in thickness. An in line shear cuts the cast strip to length for further processing. There is provision to add a coiler to the line at a later date.
The fine structure and supersaturation of solute elements that comes from the rapid solidification, can produce some unique microstructures and properties. Combined with our thermomechanical processing capabilities and experience, we can cast and develop alloys and process routes to produce prototype products with enhanced capabilities. Potential applications include automotive, aerospace, thermal management, structural and light gauge applications.