Leister and GF Casting Solutions: Paving the way for efficiency in sintering processes

Product Stories14 Feb 2024
Find out how you can save up to 200 kW of natural gas in sintering processes with Leister products in this blog article.

Author: Vivian Renaud, Marketing & Media Technology, Leister Technologies Deutschland GmbH

The sintering process is a material processing method in which fine powders are combined under pressure to form solid materials. This is done by heating the material below its melting point, which causes the powder particles to bond together by diffusion. The process enables the production of materials with improved mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. Leister is focusing on two key challenges: the precision of temperature control and the energy intensity of the process.

Temperature control as a challenge

Precise control of the sintering temperature is a critical aspect of the sintering process. The requirement for uniform temperatures throughout the entire process poses major challenges for metal processors. Insufficient temperature control can lead to undesirable effects such as deformation or structural weaknesses in the material. To meet these challenges, industry experts are therefore increasingly turning to innovative technologies and advanced temperature control systems.

Another negative aspect is the energy-intensive nature of sintering processes. The high temperatures required to fuse the powders require a significant amount of energy. This can lead to higher production costs and environmental pollution.

Leister air heater implemented at GF Casting Solutions Leipzig GmbH

GF Casting Solutions relies on state-of-the-art temperature control technologies from Leister to master the challenge of precise temperature control in sintering processes. By integrating sophisticated sensors and control systems, Leister's solutions enable precise monitoring and adjustment of the sintering temperature in real time. This leads to an improvement in product quality and at the same time reduces the risk of deformation or structural defects. Leister air heaters guarantee controlled, gradual heating of the 2500 liter converter. At its peak, a temperature of 650 degrees Celsius is reached after 45 hours.

Overheating prevented thanks to individual thermocouples

Leister has implemented an advanced heat treatment solution at GF Casting Solutions, replacing conventional natural gas with state-of-the-art air heaters from Leister. This solution not only enables more precise and efficient temperature control, but also sets new standards in terms of sustainability and environmental friendliness.

Each of the four LE 10000 HT air heaters has an output of 22 kW and two AIRPACK fans for optimum air circulation. To prevent overheating, each air heater is controlled by a thermocouple to ensure a stable process. The compact design allows easy installation above the opening of the heat treatment process, placed on insulation and lifted with a forklift.

Before the introduction of this innovative solution, the minimum output was 450 degrees Celsius with a drying time of 70 hours. This technology makes it possible to preheat the converter using the Leister system in the event of a shortage of natural gas.

Savings of up to 200 kW natural gas

In total, the 88 kW Leister air heaters replace up to 200 kW of natural gas, which not only leads to considerable cost savings, but also minimizes the environmental impact of the process. This groundbreaking solution underscores Leister's commitment to working with partners like GF Casting Solutions to develop innovative technologies that redefine industry standards and promote a sustainable future.

About GF Casting Solutions

GF Casting Solutions is a globally active company with the divisions GF Piping Systems, GF Casting Solutions and GF Machining Solutions. Since its foundation in 1802, GF Casting Solutions has been a pioneer in the development and provision of innovative products and services for a wide range of industries. www.gfcs.com