Hydrogen analysis in aluminium melt

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The Hycal series is a brand of devices for measuring the hydrogen content of liquid aluminium and aluminium alloy melts.

Even at very low concentrations, it is possible to analyze and adjust the hydrogen content quickly and precisely during both the melting and casting processes to meet the highest possible material requirements. Ideco GmbH, situated in Bocholt, Germany, is the exclusive distributor for the Hycal series in Central Europe, India and China.

Ideco is expanding their product range by adding a second measuring device for hydrogen analysis in aluminium melts. In addition to the classical procedure of ‘first bubble’ measurement and the Density Index systems for determining the overall potential pore behaviour (H2 and oxides) of a melt, the devices from the company EMC Ltd offer the possibility of analyzing the hydrogen content directly in the liquid melt. A sensor based on a new ceramic material (CaZrO3-In) can be introduced directly into the melt at any point during the entire melting and casting process. It produces a potentiality measurement of the H2 ion concentration as compared to a standard concentration contained within the probe.

High accuracy and quality

The aviation and automotive industries set high standards of material requirements for the aluminium industry. Hycal devices eliminate the subjective judgment factor from the classification of pore behaviour and, with their great precision, make it possible to maintain a pre-defined range of hydrogen concentration, even as low as 0,05 ml/100 g, for example. The continuous online monitoring allows for the feasibility of finding a variable optimum end point for the melting process. By continuing measurement during the casting process, one can further assure that no external factors have changed the hydrogen concentration, which results in reduced quality. For overall quality control, all measurements during the entire process are digitally saved and made available to a databank network.

Particularly for the casting process with its high standards of material quality, the use of the Hycal series for hydrogen analysis has proven to be especially economical. The Hycal Mini is comparable in cost to classical measuring devices. The variable additional investment for the insertion probe with a capacity of 20 hours of accumulated data may be compensated by a commensurate rise in the material quality of the product.

Devices of the Hycal series

Hycal 1000 is the panel mounted hydrogen analysis unit featuring great flexibility for different control processes. A portable analysis unit with the identical internal components may be fitted variably to different production conditions. It has an internal gas tank, a storage battery, along with extensive software. Both devices are suited for foundries producing large quantities of top quality cast aluminium products.

Hycal Mini is a small portable system for the direct analysis of hydrogen concentration. It includes the analysis unit, the Hycal measurement probe with adapter, a connection cable and PC based software for processing and storage of the measurement data.

Ideco will be exhibiting at Gifa, Halle 11, Stand C56

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