Aluminum swarf/chips processing - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    Hey everyone, hope you're doing well.

    I am curious to see how other shops are managing aluminum shavings/swarf/chips. We machine a lot of different materials so we don't usually recycle. However for the past 3 months our machines have been processing A LOT of aluminum almost exclusively. So I have done some small batch recycling in the past but that was annoying.

    My thought is to buy a 2 huge garbage cans...one I will drill a bunch of holes in, and the other will be used to collect any runoff coolant/water. I plan to "rinse" the chips with clean water initially and then let them drain. Sound like a good plan? The amount that we are processing will not be massive but it will certainly take several "batches" of this process to get it all through.

    I know for bigger shops they sell these centrifuges which separate the coolant out...obviously we aren't going to be buying one of those.

    Do they make small chip compactors to brick-ify the swarf?

    What is your method?

    My coolant chips go into 1 yard dump hoppers with drains.
    I let them drain out and then dump in a 12 yard hopper outside.

    I doo have spinners, but it's not worth spinning coolant chips typically.


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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Hell, if the chunks are at all decent size, flat rate box them and offer for sale here. Ask for a buck a pound or whatever, we have enough hobbyists or small shops here that they'll sell.
    Well the chunks that i recycle are usually parts that have been scrapped and aren't usable....but that isn't necessarily a bad idea. Id have to do some prep on some of the stuff to get it into reasonable shapes.

    I did run a test this weekend with rinsing the chips vs not rinsing....if I don't rinse them, the Blaser Synergy 735 sticks to the chips quite strongly and refuses to evaporate, naturally because it is a synthetic oil type deal. Whereas if I run a few gallons of water thru the bucket it cleans it up like a charm and dries much lighter (weight). Our recycler hates damp chips. The chips come out of the machines basically coolant-logged. Synergy 735 is one of the stickiest filmiest coolants ive run....it just leaves shit on the parts and machine. But it rinses off very easily so we like it. Also havent had to clean my sumps in like 2 years.

    Process -
    32 gallon perforated Brute garbage can inside a 32 gal standard Brute. Rinse chips, drain receptacle. Let chips drain. Bag in large black contractor bags for long term storage/transport.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    I started rinsing my chips with the water I use to rinse my parts off a couple of years ago. I hardly add coolant concentrate anymore, it's made a huge difference.
    What do you mean "you hardly add coolant concentrate"?

  4. #24
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    We have a semi come by twice a week to pick up our aluminum chips and we still use large bins that drain into capture tanks for recycling. If you let them sit for a day or two a large percentage of the coolant will drain off. Plus if you have an oil lubricated machine it will separate when it sits still for a while.

    The chip compactors are pretty expensive and don't get that much more coolant off the chips. It makes a lot more sense when you are really limited on space, because the bins do take up a lot of space while the coolant drains off.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    What do you mean "you hardly add coolant concentrate"?
    Say maybe 8 ounces of concentrate for every 20-30 gallons of makeup, at most. I use Trim C320 which is a full synthetic at 7.5% +/-.5% checked every few days with a refractometer.

  6. #26
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    Local scrapper provides me with IBC totes. I cut the tops off and fill them with chips, he picks them up and drops off more totes.

    He's also pretty handy with his rollback. Being a scrapper, dude can get shit on and off that rollback in a jiffy. He's moved many machines and vehicles for me for cheap.

    I have a couple big tippy hoppers too. I use them for steel chips. Every time I use them for aluminum I forget how far those light chips fly and launch them over the other side. Tippy hoppers are PITA at the scrapyards around here too. Never fails I tell them not to use their fork rotators to dump them and they ignore me. Then I get to straighten out the bases and try to get them working again.

  7. #27
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    IIRC many years ago, some one here posted using an old clothes washer on the spin cycle.

  8. #28
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    I've heard of processes where aluminum chips are sintered back into a solid. Didn't strike me as being small-scalable.

    What about mixing low cost epoxy with chips and molding something out of them? Are there any processes like that?

    I have a few stupid simple products I could make from molded epoxy chips.


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