Aluminum sorting technology

TOMRA Sorting Recycling’s X-Ray Transmission (XRT) technology with its X-TRACT and X-TRACT X6 FINES units efficiently separates aluminum and aluminum alloys from heavy metals.

The XRT technology facilitates the classification process and optimizes the efficiency of sorting secondary aluminum raw material. This applies to those who use aluminum scrap consisting of several alloys and heavy metals, including Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Silicon (Si), etc.

Before secondary aluminum is melted, the technology separates the heavy metals from aluminum alloys containing more than two percent heavy metals. Each aluminum alloy contains a certain percentage of other metals, which must be constantly controlled to ensure that the chemical composition of the product meets the required specifications. Aluminum producers can control the quality level before the material enters the furnace and avoid the loss of castings when heavy metal exceeds the maximum allowable content of these elements.

TOMRA has two models that incorporate XRT technology: the X-TRACT and the X-TRACT X6 FINES.

The TOMRA X-TRACT enables sorting by recovering ready-to-melt aluminum fractions with a purity of 98-99 percent. With its XRT technology, it also enables substances to be separated according to their atomic density, regardless of their colour and surface impurities.

TOMRA’s X-TRACT X6 FINES identifies and classifies grain sizes that are almost half the size of those that could previously be processed (between 5 and 40 mm). In addition, the heavy metals separated with this device can be further separated by the COMBISENSE BELT system by colour, brightness and shape.

The operating costs of TOMRA’s sensor-based dry sorting systems are significantly lower compared to a system with dense media that uses water and additives. Additionally, dry sorting makes the necessity for water treatment obsolete.

Using the sorting technology can lead to a reduction in the purchase costs of the raw material (scrap), because the materials do not have to have an excessively strict composition and because less is processed. Thus, scrap can be bought at a lower price with a lower quality and subsequently cleaned by X-TRACT technology.