Improve Your Bottom Line

WAM® AL II - Improve Your Bottom Line!

  • Specifically Designed for the Aluminum Industry
  • Improve Metal Quality
  • Eliminate Corundum Formed by Metal-Refractory Interaction
  • Drastically Reduce Maintenance Requirements
  • No Metal Penetration
  • Energy Efficient Micro-porous Technology
  • Lowest Cost of Ownership

How can WAM® AL II technology benefit your bottom line?

 

Reduce costs. Minimize maintenance. Improve quality.

The WAM® AL II technology consists of a family of products that address the diverse refractory needs of the aluminum industry. Each product incorporates properties that allow it to address specific application issues associated with a variety of metal contact processes.

All products within this family are comprised of high purity synthetic materials with only trace amounts of Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) and other oxidizing agents, which contribute to undesirable corundum formation.  In addition to its chemical inertness, each WAM® AL II product is immune to molten aluminum penetration as a result of its unique chemical formulation.

This base technology is the building block for the family of products that allow for complete furnace lining design which can reduce energy consumption, minimize required maintenance, improve metal quality, reduce landfill disposal costs, and lessen the total cost of ownership for your refractory linings.

 

Beat the corundum conundrum. 

Corundum forms as a result of the oxidation of aluminum metal.  Whenever oxygen comes in contact with the metal, the oxide forms.  This is a result of the unique characteristic of the metal.  When excessive corundum forms, it reduces energy efficiency, furnace throughput, increases maintenance, and causes metal loss.  Corundum growth can be minimized by limiting available oxygen sources, including components of refractory linings.  This in combination with managing heat sources, maintenance, and metal quality can drastically reduce your costs to produce.

Traditional refractory linings developed for the aluminum market contain 20%-30% silicon dioxide.  WAM® AL II and WAM® AL II Gun Mix contain less than 0.3%, and WAM® AL II HD contains less than 0.8%.  This and the stable chemical nature of the product eliminate the possibility of corundum formation as a result of metal interaction with the lining.  Because metal will not penetrate, you will never see corundum formation bonded to or formed within the lining.

Furnace linings can be zoned with micro-porous WAM® AL II, WAM® AL II Gun Mix and higher strength WAM® AL II HD optimizing energy efficiency, resistance to corundum formation, and mechanical strength in the areas that need it. Operators can improve operational efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and shorten cleaning outages.  The WAM® AL II family of products has been developed with installers in mind, so no special installation methods are required and it's extremely easy to install.

 

Lower your total cost of ownership.

The cost of a refractory lining is the sum of the cost to purchase the refractory, install the refractory, and maintain the refractory.  It is a function of the refractory lifetime and the Thermal Efficiency Lifetime (TEL) of the vessel, the latter relating to the insulating capability over the lifetime of the lining. Compared to standard refractories, a WAM® AL II technology based furnace will have a higher cost per pound of refractory, a lower amount of refractory required (low-density compared to standard refractories), an average 2-3 time longer lifetime, a much longer TEL, and 50% or less maintenance costs and downtime. This results in a total cost of ownership significantly less than standard refractories.  In fact, customers have measured purchase price pay-backs of 12 months or less.

The unique chemical and mineralogical makeup of every product in the WAM® AL II Family eliminates internally formed corundum, so your lining will not lose energy efficiency over the course of its service life. This results in a very long TEL, and is a major contributor to lower cost of ownership along with reduced maintenance costs.

 

True Green Recyclable Refractory.

WAM® AL II linings provide value to your operations for the entire lifetime of the refractory lining, and then some. WAM® AL II products have significantly improved lifetimes due to their inertness. Because the refractory is silica free, there are no concerns of potential silicosis issues now, or in the future.

It is also because of this inertness that WAM® AL II products are completely recyclable. Since they do not react with the process metal, we can take your WAM® AL II lining back at the end of its service life reducing your waste stream and eliminating your landfill costs. Add up all these costs and you will see that a WAM® AL II lining is the least expensive option over the lifetime of your process vessel - even at the end of its life in your vessel. It truly is the only CLEAN and GREEN refractory option.

The WAM® AL II Family:

A Hotface Material That's Insulating

Compared to standard dense refractories commonly used for metal contact areas in aluminum melters and holders, WAM® AL II is far more insulating and far less prone to problems with corundum formation.  Unlike other insulating materials reportedly suitable for metal contact applications, such as boards, WAM® AL II is never penetrated by the metal, nor converted to corundum.  Therefore, it maintains its thermal efficiency throughout its lifetime.  For a copy of the research report that describes in significant detail the reasons why this is true, ask your WAM® representative.  

 

Insulate better and save more.

Insulation capability of refractory materials is frequently compared using the ‘Coefficient of Thermal Conductivity’, or the ‘K Factor’. This property is also used to calculate shell temperatures of refractory lined vessels and expected heat loss. The K Factor for low cement and acid bonded dense monoliths in the range of 70% alumina, is around 15 Btu in/h ft² °F (2.16 W/m K).  WAM® AL II is a micro-porous metal contact refractory with a K Factor of 4.7 Btu in/h ft² °F (0.68 W/m K) at 1500°F (815.5 °C); this is roughly three times the insulating capability of standard dense, metal contact refractories.

 

Add up Energy Savings

An electrically heated holding furnace lined with an acid bonded 65% alumina working lining uses 3450 kWh per week to maintain a set point temperature of 1250 F (676.7 °C) for a 300 series alloy. An identically configured holder with a WAM® AL II working lining uses only 2840 kWh per week to maintain the same set point temperature. Each week the electrical consumption is reduced by 610 kWh, at a cost of $0.055 per kWh, for a weekly savings of $33.55 per furnace and an annual savings of $1744.60 per year per furnace. Corundum grows and penetrates the acid bonded lining in time.  This increases the conductivity of the overall lining, thus increasing the differential energy usage with time.  The cost to operate this furnace increases with time as well.  The greater the furnace surface area, the greater the loss or savings, depending on which lining you are using.

 

WAM® AL II Product Page

The case for refractory strength.

The WAM® AL II Technology is based on a chemically inert unique mineralogy that eliminates metal penetration and corundum formation as a result of metal refractory interactions.  WAM® AL II HD combines this unique refractory aggregate with low water and low cement binder technology, creating a refractory with all the benefits of the WAM® AL II technology and high strength characteristics necessary to handle impacts, abrasion, and erosion resulting from various processing conditions.

The fact is that the strength of the corundum generated, which penetrates and builds up on typical refractories, is significantly* stronger than any available refractory.   No lining will remain intact during removal of any corundum buildup that has penetrated or formed within the lining.

The logical alternative is to select a lining material that that does not allow penetration or buildup, and does not chemically bind with formed corundum.  The paradigm shift with WAM® AL II technology is that a strong refractory is not necessary, only an inert one.  

*A study published by Die Cast Engineer magazine in November, 2008, measured the average MOR of corundum buildup at over 15,000 psi (103 MPa) and an average CCS of over 30,000 psi (207 MPa).  

 

Higher Density. Higher Strength.

If we disregard strength required to survive the cleaning process; high strength refractories are still necessary to resist erosion, abrasion and mechanical stresses inherent to metal handling processes. Examples are abrasion due to scrap and ingot loading, erosion of furnace tapout streams, and erosion and impact from ladle turn-downs.  Application areas include lentils, jams, ramps, sills, impact pads, and tapout blocks.  Compared to many refractory monoliths used for metal contact areas of aluminum melters, holders, transport ladles and troughs, WAM® AL II HD is stronger, more erosion resistant, and immune to the problems of corundum formation.  The high density property of this material makes it ideal for high fluxing environments such as scrap furnaces and siphon ladles.  

 

WAM® AL II HD Product Page

Faster installation.

In our continuing effort to provide new technology that is easier to use, we created a way to install our silica-free, micro-porous refractory with conventional dry gunning equipment:  WAM® AL II G is the gunning version of our unique refractory, WAM® AL II.   This mix is designed to gun with incredibly low rebounds, provide a lamination free lining, and allow plenty of time to trim to the right lining thickness.

Installers can now eliminate the need for forming, place materials at a higher installation rate, and put the manufacturing process back on line faster.  Now there are two ways to install a WAM® AL II working lining for aluminum furnaces that will reduce energy consumption and provide a significant reduction in maintenance efforts as expected from the WAM® AL II technology family.

 

What Rebounds?

Installers using gun mixes are satisfied when getting 10%-15% rebounds, after all this is fairly typical. WAM® AL II G has typical rebounds of 5% or less, keeping more product on the wall and less in the trash. This reduces your overall cost and increases the speed of installation.  Typical of Westmoreland Advanced Materials® we are not satisfied with meeting industry standards, only in exceeding them. 

 

WAM® AL II G Product Page

NEW to the WAM® AL II Family .

WAM® AL II LW is a lightweight refractory castable designed to provide significant insulating capability at a reduced weight, all while remaining inert to reactions with molten aluminum metal. Transport vessels are ideal application areas, where one desires to limit the overall weight of the vessel while maximizing the weight of transported metal. WAM® AL II LW allows this while maintaining its efficient thermal profile since the lining is not degraded by penetration of metal and subsequent formation of corundum. 

It is also ideally suited for roofs and upper sidewalls of large head space furnaces. These are the areas were a majority of heat loss occurs. WAM® AL II LW is able to provide a highly insulating lining while maintaining inertness with molten metal splash, which affords many tremendous operational advantages to the user.

 

Line Your Furnace With Efficiency.

If we disregard strength required to survive the cleaning process; high strength refractories are still necessary to resist erosion, abrasion and mechanical stresses inherent to metal handling processes. Examples are abrasion due to scrap and ingot loading, erosion of furnace tapout streams, and erosion and impact from ladle turn-downs.  Application areas include lentils, jams, ramps, sills, impact pads, and tapout blocks.  Compared to many refractory monoliths used for metal contact areas of aluminum melters, holders, transport ladles and troughs, WAM® AL II HD is stronger, more erosion resistant, and immune to the problems of corundum formation.  The high density property of this material makes it ideal for high fluxing environments such as scrap furnaces and siphon ladles.  

 

WAM® AL II LW Product Page

Always Moving Forward

We continue to develop new products and installation technologies utilizing WAM® AL II Technology.  As these evolve, we will make you aware of their developmental progress.  Currently, several concepts are in development and a few are available.

WAM® AL II WFS:  This is a wire fiber slurry mix used to make pre-cast shapes for use in very high impact/ high abrasion environments.  This product has successfully proven itself in several application areas including impellors, stirrers, impact pads, and troughing.

WAM® AL II P: This is a plastic version of the WAM® AL II Technology which will be available very soon.  We are currently in the final developmental stages which involve shelf life and workability.  As soon as we perfect the formulation, we will let you know on this website of product availability.  

WAM® AL II DV: This is a dry vibratable version of the  WAM® AL II Technology used to backfill precast ladle inserts and precast trough sections.  This is currently available.  

WAM® AL II HD TSR: This is a thermal shock resistant version of the  WAM® AL II Technology which is currently utilized in impact pads, troughing, and ladles where preheating to obtain thermal equilibrium is not possible in the current processing environment.  This product has been successfully utilized for over a year and is currently available.  

WAM® AL II YN: Your needs.  If you have a specific application area in aluminum which needs a unique solution, contact us.  We love to solve problems.