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What are preconditioners?

Controlling nucleation potential in cast irons.

Preconditioners are a valuable tool in determining nucleation potential at an early stage in the casting process. Elkem will work with your foundry team to select and supply the preconditioners you need, in whatever country you’re based.

Preconditioners: Improving nucleation in cast irons

In the production of gray iron, ductile iron and compacted graphite iron, a common problem is a gradual reduction in the nucleation potential of the base iron, leading to a poor response to inoculation, formation of cementite (iron carbide), and variability in casting quality.

This loss of nuclei for graphite precipitation can be addressed by the use of preconditioners, which are added during the furnace charge and trimming stages, and which work to enhance and stabilize the nucleation potential of the base iron.

High-performance preconditioners from Elkem

Elkem’s PRESEED™ preconditioner is a ferrosilicon-based alloy that increases the proportion of ‘type A’ graphite in gray iron and improves the nodule density and shape in ductile iron, resulting in better-quality castings. It also counteracts the negative influence of poor-quality charge materials, and enhances the performance of treatments used later in the process.

Like all our foundry alloys, PRESEED™ preconditioner has outstanding batch-to-batch consistency, allowing you to focus on optimizing other aspects of the metal treatment process.

Sustainability in mind

The high temperatures needed for the production of preconditioners makes them unavoidably energy-intensive to manufacture. To tackle this, we already use 83 % renewable energy in our plants, and we’re committed to reducing our CO2 footprint further, whether that’s by moving towards renewable sources of carbon, or embarking on an ambitious project for carbon capture and storage (or utilization) at our plants. You can read more about our plans in our global climate roadmap.

With you at every step

At Elkem, we’re collaborators as well as manufacturers of foundry alloys. We’ll take time to understand your product requirements, and on that basis define the specification that will ensure that both product quality and cost-effectiveness are maximized. Not only that, but throughout the entire production process you’ll benefit from our expert guidance and insight.

And in addition, we’re the only foundry alloy manufacturer with a dedicated network of metallurgists, process engineers and research staff distributed globally, and with manufacturing facilities near all the principal foundry clusters. So you’re guaranteed to get expert service and prompt supply of preconditioners and other foundry alloys for cast iron manufacture – wherever you are in the world.


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