UPCAST® – first in continuous upwards casting technology Reliability built on almost 50 years of consistent development work, operational experience and excellent customer service
UPCAST® upward casting concept of copper rod was invented already in 1968 at Outokumpu´s Pori Finland plant. As our slogan states we are first in upcasting. This means we are pioneers and continue to take pride in excelling in this technology.
We want to be the first choice for the customers who consider UPCAST® technology for their continuous casting process. To be able to do so, we need to stay ahead through continuous development of our products and processes. Therefore, it’s not only the reactive development work initiated by the new market requests, but also proactive and systematic R&D work to learn how to do things better.
What could be a better example of this work than the UPCAST® Cu-OF Upcast line, which was first introduced half a century ago and is today a simple, reliable process with easy operation through an advanced control system resulting a low lifecycle cost with the increased casting speed, bigger capacities and better production effectiveness. Also, more rod diameter sizes are possible and the lines operate safely and reliably for years and years.
Top quality final products require the best cast quality
The majority of delivered UPCAST® lines are for Cu-OF rod and mainly with most common cast rod diameter of 8 mm. Rods with bigger diameters are used for manufacturing a variety of finished products e.g. busbars, shaped profiles, trolley wires, electroplating anodes etc. UPCAST® Cu-OF rod with its excellent formability is well suited for all electrical applications. There are customers all over the world casting with UPCAST® technology the Cu OF 8 mm rod, which can be further processed to the finest diameters of top quality wires.
Other shapes of cast products in addition to rod and SGTube which can be cast with UPCAST® process are various profiles and flat bar.
As new applications for copper alloys are being developed the utilization of UPCAST® technology within the copper alloys field is rapidly increasing
The alloys, which have been recently successfully cast with UPCAST® lines are CuMg0.5, ZnAl15 and various brass alloys. Many more alloys are being tested continuously.
CuMg has excellent strength and conductivity characteristics, which create several possibilities for its applications, such as contact wires for high speed trains and harnesses for automotive industry.
UPCAST has already cast the biggest diameters of CuMg0.5 and the rod has been processed and the finished wire fulfills the requirements of EN 50149 standard. In addition, Ø8mm CuMg0.5 cast rod has been successfully produced and further processed into very thin wires suitable for automotive industry. With the cast diameter of Ø8mm the process into the finished product is shorter and thus also more cost effective.
ZnAL alloy is used in the arc and flame spraying process for corrosion protection. The very fine ZnAl wire is led into the spraying gun where it melts and is then sprayed onto steel surface forming a film, which protects the steel from corrosion.
The technology for casting ZnAl mix into cast rod is new with remarkable benefits. Compared to the traditional production method of this alloy the investment cost is clearly less. In addition, a big advantage is that with the hot press you can produce products with only specific lengths whereas with UPCAST® technology rod can be cast into coils exactly the optimized amounts for the customer needs.
In the future, the focus of the R&D is on the alloys, however, not forgetting the continuous further development of the OF and DHP products, which is expected to result in cost savings and thus guarantee the best possible cost efficiency to the customers.
The process has to remain environmentally friendly with no harmful emissions nor need for waste treatment. Already some years ago the UPCAST ® lines were developed suitable for casting of 100% recycled material.
UPCAST® continuous castings lines are operating every day of the week. This would not be possible without a fast, reliable and continuous Customer Service and Support for consumables, spare parts and technical support – on phone, online and on site. The opposite could mean major losses through the lost production time for customers.
The biannual UPCAST® Technical User Meeting gets together global customers and it has provided an excellent platform for exchanging experiences and ideas and for learning what is new in this business. The customers benefit for being part of UPCAST® Family.