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How would you cut this?

mjlogan88

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
500
Messages
323
Loc
GA
Lost the refractory in the floor on one of our melting furnaces (aluminum foundry). 80k lb of aluminum seeped through the 3/4" subfloor plate and solidifed in the I beam joists underneath. I need to get it all out in order to restore subfloor cooling which is a blower that blows air between the joists to cool the floor during operation.

Question is how to cut it out. I beams are 6" tall and are welded to the 3/4" subfloor steel plate. oxy acetylene torch will cut the steel plate but won't touch the 6" thick aluminum. Thermal lance will melt the aluminum but the problem is there is no where for it to flow and it just re-solidifies in a different location.

Next thought is something like a concrete saw with some sort of magical blade but none of my concrete contractors want to touch it, go figure.

So, how would you cut it?

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I have ripped 2" aluminum with a carbide blade many times. I've done 1/8" steel with the same blade turned backwards. I'd rent a concrete saw and buy some blades. What is the linear.......Jesus fkin christ......80k lb is going to be some cutting no matter the linear distance. That is a messed up situation. I'll think on it. Draw a diagram or get pics if you can.
 
Cut a pit in front of the furnace with a trench leading to the solidified aluminum. Stick some steel loops into the pit for lifting later, build a fire in the furnace and melt the aluminum. Aluminum runs into the new pit, you wait for it to cool and lift it on out.
 
Build a new floor on top of that one and lose 7 or so inches of height. That sucks.

This is plan B that I've started to draw up, but there are other challenges associated with it as well. We'll lose capacity but not the end of the world.
 
No, that won't cut aluminum. Aluminum is best cut with wood type tools.:homer:

did you bother clicking on the link and seeing giant carbide tipped metal saws intended for rescue services that cut through everything on gas powered demo saws?

$340 and a rented demo saw for the day and you start cutting out slabs of aluminum.
 
You could bore through holes and use those as channels for the aluminum to flow as you use the thermal lance. That's the best I can conceive so far. You don't want to cut it all out.
 
7” grinder with a cut off wheel. Cut down to the brick and chisel away? Looks like a lot of work.
 
They can be replaced

it's a foundry, so I assume you have heavy machinery.

my game plan would be to cut down to the concrete below in large slabs, and then ram a front end loaders teetg under the front half and try to lift/pull it out in a few large chunks.
 
Cut the plate out and turn the furnace back on letting it run elsewhere?

Without the refractory those burners won't melt the aluminum. Plus I had to cut the front sill off to get the refractory out.
 
Drill and tap the aluminum, Install large eye bolt, attach to hydraulic puller or big winch w/snatch block. Heat the furnace to loosen and start pulling.

Tried this in a few spots, the problem is the I beam is stitch welded to the floor plate. This creates the perfect interlock between aluminum/steel to prevent any success.

The furnace in its current state won't get the aluminum hot enough to make any difference
 
Call the local corps of engineers? I'm sure they'd love the challenge :laughing:​​​​​

At least they have access to explosives :flipoff2:
 
What about a large shear on an excavator? I’ve seen shears year through railroad tanker cars and they’re thick steel.
 
Is that the furnace at Sierra Aluminum? Sure looks like it. :eek::eek: Been there a couple 10x. thing is impressive. Few here have an idea of scale of that box. It's massive.

They've run millions of pounds of material through that thing for me over the last 20 years. Hope it doesn't fuck up my orders. :( Good luck!
 
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damn. I'd start a new floor on top of that.
 
Is that the furnace at Sierra Aluminum? Sure looks like it. Been there a couple 10x. :eek: I've run millions of pounds of material through that thing over the last 20 years. Hope it doesn't fuck up my orders.

Nope not Sierra but we are not far from them. We do mainly hard alloy and have 7 more furnaces besides that one.

Your orders are safe as far as I know
 
Cut the 3/4 metal floor off using either a braco torch or gouging cut with oxy setup. Once plate is removed either cutting out mass of Aluminum between beams or ripping out ibeam. Might still need to melt aluminum off ibeam by leaving small channels under refractory for drainage


Either way fuck that will suck to fix. Option F move the fucking oven to new location to tear this one down
 
Nope not Sierra but we are not far from them. We do mainly hard alloy and have 7 more furnaces besides that one.

Your orders are safe as far as I know

Whew! :laughing:

Good luck. looks like a hell of a job.

Hydro N.A.? I run a lot of stuff through there too. :eek: ( i only recall one furnace @ hydro though) I wanna come see your operation with 7 furnaces! awesome!
 
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