"Valle-Verde.net - Novel Ecological Technologies"

SCALA Technology

Fast heat treatment, mould sand recovery and soft cleaning of castings

short cycle heat treatment and de-coring equipment for aluminium alloy castings

Our ‘scala’ technology has originally been developed in close collaboration with research institutions and industries specialized in green sand aluminum casting technology and rapid prototyping. It has been developed with the intent to play a role in improving the durability of castings and reducing the ecological impact compared to more traditional treatment methods with mechanical shaking stages for de-coring and mould sand removal and huge furnaces and quench tanks for turning a green sand casting from the fresh casting into a finished part ready to be mounted in its final destination.

Valle-Verde can design and supply a well balanced range of all integrated casting heat treatment solutions that can either be supplied as standardized products or can be modified in customized well fitting turn-key systems. We especially offer our expertise to develop validated processes for end users, equipment suppliers or associations, and so wish to contribute to a more ecological world by spreading these modern techniques.

Summary

The heart of our system components is each time a proprietary ‘suspended particle reactor’ - a quite universal and unique physicochemical conversion or treatment process. ‘XAROCO’ systems can function as a versatile reactor to remove core sand and remaining mould sand. They can process parts that are still hot from the foundry process, and combine the sand removal with very accurate solution heating. The foundry sand is simultaneously regenerated and simply overflows from the reactor.

With the powerful ‘BORA’ suspended particle reactors, a mild but still fast ‘soft quench’ can be provided. Bora systems work either with cooled reactor flow and / or a built-in evaporative cooling system to remove the heat from the quenched castings and keep the reactor at the desired temperature. Finally, our ‘ZEPHYR’ preheated suspended particle reactors can add a fast and ultra precise ageing stage to the all integrated heat treatment process whenever this is required.

The castings to be treated are stacked in a carrier, which is subsequently submerged into the bubbling reactors, one after the other, like in a liquid, each at their respective temperature for solution heating and sand removal, for quench-cooling or for ageing, all depending on the exact alloy and the validated treatment requirements. Solutions where castings are processed individually or in smaller batches directly as they come from the foundry process can be worked out and fully automated, further reducing labour and energy consumption.

Typical applications for which our solutions and technology is particularly suited:

  • Engine blocks, cylinder heads, pump rotors, turbines and their housings
  • Castings with complex internal structure and thin walls or fins and material saving supports and fixtures
  • Limited series and rapid prototyping applications
  • Applications where shaking methods for mould and core sand removal could damage the castings.
  • Series where short cycles are desirable to optimize quality validation throughout the production process.
  • Large production series where advantageous treatment cycles have been thoroughly optimized and validated in collaboration with customers or foundries, including automated individual parts processing.
  • Applications where space limitations are critical and all integrated compact solutions are needed.
  • Processes where use of raw material and natural resources is a dominant criterion in a more sustainable world.
Historical heat treatment methods for aluminum castings including the use of huge long residence time furnaces, water or oil quench tanks. With modern casting technologies and sophisticated casting process simulation and modeling software, it becomes more and more known that final casting strength and durability is not always optimal with traditional heat treatment methods. Indeed, the more aluminum casting become complex and thinner and more accurate for sustainability reasons, the more the harsh traditional quenching and not deeply homogeneous and precise solution heating and ageing temperatures are known to generate internal stresses and hidden weak spots in these complex parts.

Our mild and soft ‘scala’ thermal all suspended particle reactor heat treatment systems have distinct advantages with respect to accuracy, resulting in high energy savings, short cycle times, soft de-coring and mould sand removal, and parts which are genuinely stronger in their environment of application. They offer reduced ecological impact and use of natural resources in a simple and reliable concept : more economic, more friendly for the parts, with less labor and better for the environment.

‘XAROCO, BORA & ZEPHYR ’ suspended particle reactors

The castings are submerged in the ‘Xaroco’ solution heating and sand removal reactor (1) by means of a carrier (4). The resin from the sand will essentially convert to gas and fine inorganic powder very quickly. Gas and inorganic powder are carried with the flow through the reactor (2), and led into a dust separation device, which can be a cyclone or a barrier filter (8). The inorganic powder is (9) is collected and can be removed daily, and the cleaned exhaust flow (3) is released into atmosphere. As energy recovery can become economic for larger and round the clock operating processes, the flow through the reactor can pass through an energy recovery unit (7) and the generated heat can be used externally or reused for the process itself (6). While the casting is in the solution heating phase, core and mould sand is regenerated, becomes reusable and can be extracted from the unit by draining or overflow (5).

The ‘Xaroco’ reactor can be used stand alone for mould and core sand removal and / or solution heating, can be combined with a ‘Bora’ soft quench reactor with cooled flow or evaporative heat removal device, and with a preheated ‘Zephyr’ reactor in which the ageing process can be ran at very precise temperature.

With this ‘scala’ technology, an all-integrated suspended particle treatment line can process castings with short cycles which are only a fraction of some traditional treatment methods, enhancing quality of the parts and dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of aluminum casting treatment processes.


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About Valle Verde

Mission

Valle-Verde focuses on technology, product and business development for ecological niche applications, mainly in the field of decontamination, waste or sludge conversion, aluminum treatment and gas cleaning. We are committed to develop and spread promising ‘Novel Ecological Technologies’ with an open approach, through partnership, joint-venture, license or franchise business models, create proprietary ‘niche’ technologies and develop exploitation technologies or products with strategic partners.

Company

Valle Verde is created to incorporate and centralize ecology- and environment related activities, knowledge and titles from its founders or partners to exploit them in the broadest sense and to market and sell products, services and rights, directly or through participations and partnerships. Our Valle-Verde ‘green valley’ concept lays down our intentions and expresses the green, ethic and sustainable character of all our initiatives : “Pure, simple, natural and clear”, as our mission.

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