A lesser known Vodňany company, GD Druckguss, has embarked on solving a problem that could improve its position on the market, but that can also provide the Czech economy with the necessary amount of secondary raw materials containing zinc. This is a task of research and development of a new technology of recycling zinc waster remaining after production of thin and thick-walled castings. The academic workers of our school help to solve this problem.
This would enable the company to process roughly 700 tons of zinc waste, thus reducing the existing level of import of this primary raw material.
”We would thus significantly reduce the production costs, and it would also have a positive impact on the environment. Thanks to the new technology regulating the melt dispensing, we would reduce the energy consumption by roughly twenty per cent every year; we would also reduce the number of truck journeys currently participating in the materials distribution,” says Iveta Boskov, a representative of GD Druckguss. The company assumes that it will also be able to improve its competitiveness and enter new markets and branches or improves its position in the existing ones, e.g. in the automotive industry.
According to Assoc. Prof. Karel Gryc from the VSTE, the aim is to develop two complex technologies for production of quality castings from zinc alloys. This will be carried out by means of operational and laboratory experiments, and evaluation of an extensive series of test melts. ”New and unique findings will then enable to design the most suitable technological processes capable of complying with ever stricter quality criteria”, he explains. In the project, he cooperates with Assoc. Prof. Ladislav Socha and a group of experts.
Zinc today represents a strategic raw material and countries are thus trying to keep it in their economy. Processing zinc alloys waste, reducing costs, improving the castings quality and competitiveness is thus in line with the National Priorities of Oriented Research in the Czech Republic (NPOV).
An institution benefiting from the project will be also our school, which will use the research results to develop scientific disciplines associated with the studies and teaching about foundry processes, material analyses and recycling technologies.
”This will help the school to develop new know-how and to make the study programmes more attractive. The students involved in the project will have a great opportunity to develop their creative potential, says Vojtěch Stehel, a vice-rector of our school. .
The budget of the project “Research and development of zinc waste recycling technology in production of high quality zinc alloys” is nearly CZK 19 million and was supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic with approximately CZK 11 million. The project started in 2019 and will be completed by 31 December 2022.