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Waste and Recycling

Thermo-Calc can be used to improve the understanding around end of life management of alloys in terms of scrap, recycling, recovery, and waste storage.

Applications to Waste and Recycling

Growing awareness of environmental issues is influencing the entire materials and product development life cycle. End of life management in terms of scrap, recycling, recovery, and waste storage are critical when considering the environmental impact. Additionally, it is important to consider materials sustainability, particularly associated with critical minerals and scarce precious metals. Thermo-Calc can be applied to all stages of the materials life cycle to develop strategies around these topics.

Applications of Thermo-Calc to waste and recycling include predicting the following:

  • Effects of chemistry on blending, melting, and refining scrap to produce alloys with a target composition
  • Recovery of critical minerals and precious metals
  • Concentrations of hazardous emissions during sintering and incineration
  • Incineration of waste in molten baths
  • Chemistry of waste products in ground water
  • Energy conservation during waste incineration from a heat of reaction perspective

Application Examples

Thermo-Calc has many applications to waste and recycling. Below is one such example.

Reducing Fe Content in Al Scrap through the Addition of Mn

Scrap melters have to deal with ever-increasing levels of undesirable elements and impurities. An important issue in recycling Al scrap is to control such impurities, especially Fe, which may lead to the formation of detrimental phases, such as β-Al9Fe2Si2. One approach is to add Mn (sometimes with Cr) to form Fe-containing α-Al15Si2Mn4, which suppresses the formation of the detrimental phases and can be separated from the melt.

Thermo-Calc can be used to understand the chemical reactions and predict the Mn addition and processing temperature. The figure shows that adding Mn to scrap reduces the Fe content but increases the Mn content. The optimal Mn addition can be determined based on a compromise, which depends on the desired alloy composition.

A plot showing mass fraction of elements in liquid vs mass fraction Mn added to melt in an aluminium scrap remelt.

Learn more about Applications to Waste and Recycling

Development and applications of the TCAL aluminum alloy database

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