Fabricator Finds Flux Recycling Reaps Rewards
The Forge/Fabricating Shop of Algoma Steel Corp., Sault St. Marie, Ontario, has saved nearly $100,000 by having its flux recycled. In the fiercely competitive world of steel production, Algoma finds it has to cut costs and maintain quality wherever possible.
One way it is able to accomplish this goal is by sending slag generated during submerged arc welding to Titus Steel's Welding Fluxes Div. for fused flux recovery.
Titus recovers the flux by a process involving crushing, grinding, magnetic separation, and sizing with a vibrating screen. Initial inspection of the slag is necessary to remove debris such as cigarette butts and cups. Air filters snag the dust and debris while a drum magnet captures magnetic material.
A horizontal belt and vertical elevator then convey the flux to a set of rollers and crushers and into a 48 in. diameter VIBROSCREEN vibrating screen separator made by Kason Corp. Stainless steel screens are used to withstand the abrasive slag, which has a size range from 30 mesh to 80 mesh and a hardness of 4 to 6 on the Mohs scale.
Slag enters the separator at rates ranging from 1,000 Ibs to 2,200 lbs. per hour, according to W. Usatis, president of Titus. Oversized material from the separator is recirculated for additional roll grinding.
On the vibrator, a 14 mesh, 16 mesh or 18 mesh screen is used for the top screen. On the bottom is either a 80 mesh or 100 mesh screen, depending upon the customer's requirements. The screens are easily changed, allowing Titus to return flux with exactly the same size particles that the customer would get if he had ordered virgin flux.
Out of every 100 lbs of scrap flux, Titus reclaims 85 Ibs. and returns it for use at half the cost of new flux. Using X-ray spectography, it was determined that the chemical composition or the recycled flux isn't significantly different than that of new flux.