In companies operating in the metallurgy sector, we deal with the production and processing of metals. They fall into the category of industries working in high intensity. During all manufacturing processes, compressed air is the essential building block for maintaining a stable environment, but it also brings benefits in the development of finished products.
Compressed air in the manufacture of steel
in the blast furnace, there are two main stages of production. First, there is the transformation of iron ore into pig iron. This will then be placed in the converter to be transformed into raw steel.
Compressed air is mainly needed during the first stage of manufacture. The blast furnace is thus used to make layers of fuel, and of the melting bed alternately. In the lower part there are the pipes for blowing in compressed air, also known as hot blast. It is air to which fuel and oxygen are added to complete the fusion. When manufacturing is complete, compressed air must still be used for cooling. This conditions, among other things, the quality and specificities of the steel obtained. For these reasons, the metal industry cannot do without compressed air in its operations.
The use of compressed air in the pretreatment
During the manufacturing stages of metal or metal parts, the environment must be free of dirt, and the work surface must be free of deposits and particles. Indeed, these stains can have impacts on the aspects of the finished product. For example, there could be a surface defect, due to a piece of metal that has settled on the worktop.
Treat the surface with compressed air
EPS (electrostatic powder coating) or swirl sintering is suitable for most metal parts. To dust each object, it is necessary to use compressed air. It is also used in paint booths. Its quality influences that of the finished product, so it must be pure and free from unwanted materials such as oil. Otherwise, there will be bubbles or craters on the paint.
Compressed air is also used in anodizing, with direct current and in the generator. It is an electrolytic step used in the manufacture of aluminum. It is also called GS anodization, when it comes to a sulfuric acid bath. During the oxidation steps, there is an active movement of several electrolytes, actuated by the blowing of compressed air.
In addition, there is thermal spraying which helps to perfect the surfaces, which requires compressed air to do the spraying with the electric arc, and the flame. In this case, it acts as an atomizing gas.
Processing and tools
To cut and weld metal objects, a laser is often used, but again, compressed air cannot be dispensed with. Only dry and pure compressed air should be used.
In welding, a pressure of 8 bar of compressed air is required to direct the particles, this also requires the use of a crossjet. For cutting, it will be used for insufflation, or for cleaning the mirror channel. When the compressed air is cooled, it improves the surface quality and condition of the cuts. In addition, it removes evaporating particles, and other unwanted matter.
On the other hand, the manufacture of pneumatic tools in the metal industry requires the use of compressed air. He directs and controls each tool, and it must be of very high quality that it does not contain any other element. Otherwise, there will be corrosions and problems in the pipes. For example, the pneumatic hammer and sanders that are used to make steel objects are compressed air tools.