Metal processing

Compressed air cleverly used.

From materials for engines to steel structures

The metal industry, which includes the steel industry, is one of the most important industrial sectors in Germany. Companies in the metal industry are often divided into the light metals, non-ferrous metals, precious metals, special metals, foundry industries, and steel and metal processing sectors.

Compressed air is used as a flexible medium in a wide variety of machining processes in the metals industry and thus requires a great deal of energy. Since this industry is highly energy-intensive, measures to improve energy efficiency and balance are frequently implemented.

In mechanical engineering, nothing works without compressed air. Around 10 percent of electricity costs must be calculated for the energy required to generate compressed air. An incredible amount of energy can be saved here – especially in the generation of heat, in electric drives or in the generation of compressed air.

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Where is compressed air used?

In the metal industry, compressed air is used in the following applications:

  • Use of pneumatic tools: A wide variety of tools work only with compressed air. These are also used in the metal industry. All the more reason why the quality of the compressed air plays a decisive role. Pipelines can corrode if there is too much water vapor in machines or systems. This results in production losses and machine downtimes.
  • Surface finishing: The main focus is on powder coating – also known as powder painting. Electrostatically charged polyester resin is sprayed onto electrically grounded parts using compressed air. When polyester resin is liquefied under heat, a resin film is formed that is resistant to environmental influences and mechanical stress.
  • Production of steel: Compressed air is used in a wide variety of work processes in steel production and processing. The properties of the steel can change if the cooling of the cast iron at the blast casting plant is not controlled. Compressed air is used for this purpose.
  • Sandblasting: In sandblasting, the surface of the workpiece is processed by spinning sand using compressed air. This is called “blasting”. Grains of sand hit the workpiece surface at extremely high speed and abrade it.
  • Processing of metal: Here, compressed air performs different tasks together with laser technology. The molten metal is driven out of the kerf by a targeted air stream. The heat-affected zone at the focus is cooled by compressed air through large nozzle openings. This protects the optical lens from contamination. Aerosols cutting emissions can thus not ignite.

KAESER Compressors offers customers a range of options for using compressed air as efficiently as possible to meet the requirements of this industry.

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