Aluminum is an important material in our manufacturing processes. The amounts we use are considerable – as is the volume of waste aluminum produced during milling and drilling. We don’t see this waste aluminum as something to be discarded. To us, it’s a valuable raw material that we can recycle for reuse, and our process experts have found an innovative solution for this that solves two problems at once.
Our centrifuges have aluminum inserts for holding sample tubes during operation. These inserts are milled in a highly precise CNC (computer numeric control) process that uses high-quality cooling lubricants. These lubricants help dissipate the high temperatures that arise, lubricate the milling cartridges and drill bits, and protect the workpieces from surface corrosion, so they are indispensable. And, naturally, their useful life is limited, so it makes sense ecologically and economically to recycle them as far as possible. Usually, recycling consists of simply capturing the lubricant run-off – but what happens to the lubricant clinging to the aluminum chips? Up to now, it was considered lost forever.
This is where we use a recycling procedure that is both ecologically and economically sustainable: the aluminum waste is collected and compressed into briquettes at high pressure in a hydraulic press. Compression releases most of the cooling lubricant, which can then be collected for reuse as needed.
With the cooling lubricant removed, the aluminum briquettes are easier to sell, and contribute to greater value creation.