Promat in non-ferrous metal applications

The most commonly used non-ferrous metals are aluminium, copper, lead, zinc, nickel, titanium, cobalt, chromium and precious metals. The most widely used of all these non-ferrous metals is aluminium and in the aluminium industry, Promat provides arguably the widest range of thermal insulation products on the market. We are the worldwide leading manufacturer of calcium silicate and microporous insulation, both of which are used extensively to optimise energy usage in aluminium manufacture and processing.
Aluminium – new and recycled
Primary aluminium production from alumina is an energy-intensive electrolytic process at a temperature of approximately 960°C. The best possible insulation is essential to ensure that the process is as efficient and cost effective as possible.

Production of secondary aluminium from recycled scrap consumes less than 5% of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium. Equipment is still insulated to the highest standards to optimise process economics.

Aluminium, which is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, is not surprisingly one of the most recycled materials today, after steel and paper. Recovering aluminium for recycling is not only economically viable, but energy efficient and ecologically sound.

Of an estimated total of 700 million tonnes of aluminium produced since commercial manufacturing began in the 1880s, about 75% of this is still being used as secondary raw material today.

Promat in aluminium manufacture
The Promat range of high-temperature refractory and insulation solutions can offer benefits in use throughout the multiple stages of aluminium production and processing. Consistent thermal resistance, low thermal conductivity, high thermal stability and structural integrity are just some of the properties which can be achieved through the solutions we offer. Wherever possible we will offer system solutions engineered to your exact requirements which can contribute to not only reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions, but also to increased production efficiency and service life time, and lower maintenance costs.

The challenges for insulation used in aluminium manufacture and processing
  • Thermal management – energy loss control – optimised process control
  • Best possible control of heat loss
  • Resistance to thermal shock
  • Non-combustibility
  • Design for continuous high temperature operation without deterioration. Longest possible working life essential for insulation without excessive shrinkage or other impairment of performance
  • Easy installation of insulation components
  • Fast ROI for insulation – cost effective system design.

Promat can help solve all these design challenges.  By choosing from the broadest product portfolio on the market based on the "best in class" insulation products with the lowest thermal conductivity, we can design an "engineered solution" that best meets all design challenges. We select from the very best microporous, calcium silicate, refractory and fibre insulation products available. We have purpose designed products configured specifically for the metals industries.

A Promat system cannot be beat on performance.

Application solutions in primary aluminium manufacture

Aluminium smelting is the process of extracting aluminium from its oxide, alumina. This is generally done by an electrolytic process, so an aluminium smelter uses huge amounts of electricity. Primary aluminium is aluminium tapped from electrolytic cells or pots during the electrolytic reduction of the aluminium oxide. It thus excludes alloying additives and recycled aluminium. Promat has a wide range of insulation solutions, even for small and medium sized smelters. We are able to configure individual solutions based on the specific process needs of each customer.

Application solutions in secondary aluminium manufacture and processing

Secondary heat treatment and processing of aluminium at temperatures up to 1300 °C is done in both batch and continuous treatment furnaces.
Electrolytic reduction cells
The primary aluminum production takes place in electrolytic reduction cells where aluminium atoms are separated from oxygen atoms in the alumina molecule. Proven insulation systems are resistant to fluorised aluminium, have high structural integrity, and very stable thermal conductivity over a wide temperature range.

The Promat solution includes:
  • Hot face refractories in the form of PROMATON® refractory bricks
  • PROMACLAD® vermiculite boards
  • PROMASIL® calcium silicate insulation

The benefit :
  • Long service life, low maintenance and improved energy efficiency
Carbon bake furnace
Carbon bake furnaces used in primary aluminum prepare baked anodes for use in the aluminum electrolysis process. These furnaces can be open or closed and consist of many chambers, flues and pits.

The Promat solution includes:
  • Hot face refractories in the form of PROMATON® refractory bricks and PROMACRETEt® refractory concrete
  • High temperature fibres
  • MICROTHERM® PANEL and PROMALIGHT® microporous insulation to walls

The benefits
  • Long service life, low maintenance and improved energy efficiency
Melting & holding furnace
Melting and holding furnaces prepare the aluminium for transfer to the refining and casting process.

The Promat solution includes:
  • Hot face refractories in the form of PROMACRETE® refractory concrete
  • PROMASIL® calcium silicate insulation

The benefit:
  • Long life and energy efficiency
Induction furnace
Induction furnaces use electricity to induction heat metals to their melting temperature. Used in applications where tight casting control is essential such as the casting of aluminium alloy wheels.

The Promat solution includes:
  • DURASTEEL® structural calcium silicate boards

The benefits:
  • Energy efficiency
  • Thermal and electrical insulation
  • Very resistant to damage
  • Withstand continuous high temperatures to give long life