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Metallurgical Quality of Aluar billets, Ten Years of Increasing Quality

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Metallurgical Quality of Aluar billets, Ten Years of Increasing Quality

María Victoria Canullo and Rodolfo Acuña Laje, Aluar Aluminio Argentino SAIC, Puerto
Madryn, Argentina

Track: BILLET PROCESS and EQUIPMENT - Metal Quality

ABSTRACT --- Over the last ten years, Aluar, one of the main primary aluminum
producers in South America, has successfully increased its billet production in two
stages: from approximately 25,000 tons per year in 1993 using conventional
vertical casting, to more than 55,000 tons per year in 1996 using Wagstaff Air
slip. Over a similar period, due to a change in the company’s diversification
strategy, the metallurgical quality of the product has increased to a consistently
high standard. This has positioned Aluar amongst the principal suppliers to top
quality markets. In 2006, a second expansion project started that will lead to
140,000 tons of billet. In that frame, Aluar has commissioned a second Wagstaff
Air-slip billet line. Even higher technical levels of process control and automation
will also be achieved. In this paper, metal treatment, casting and homogenizing
are described, focusing on the control of key aspects to ensure consistent internal
quality of billets. Finally, a detailed review of the metallographic characterization
for assessing billet quality is given for 6063 alloy. The relevant metallographic
techniques to evaluate these properties are described and discussed.


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