Master Alloys / 03.04.2022

How Master Alloys Reduce Safety Risks for Casting Houses & Rolling Mills

How Master Alloys Reduce Safety Risks for Casting Houses & Rolling Mills - Image

Staffing is a challenge for companies everywhere, but the labor shortage has hit the manufacturing sector especially hard since 2020. Industrial operations are having to figure out how to do more with fewer people, so leaders are hungry for innovations that create efficiency while keeping team members safe. And balancing this with sustainability concerns and ESG reporting requirements is no easy task—except for billet casters and rolling mills that use master alloys in their operations, of course. 


In this article, we’ll cover four surprising ways that using master alloys in your production can reduce safety risks and create better working conditions for your team members. 


What Are Master Alloys?

A master alloy is a base material combined with other elements at varying degrees of concentration (aluminum and silicon, for example). Master alloys are often sold as off-the-shelf formulations, or they can be custom engineered to meet a consumer’s specifications. Our master alloys are produced using recycled content.


Four Types of Injuries Master Alloys Can Help Prevent

Cut Injuries

Using scrap metal in your production process is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and make your end product more sustainable. However, it can be tricky to handle. Team members who are responsible for transporting scrap and loading it into furnaces need to take care to avoid cut injuries. Careful storage and personal protective equipment (PPE) are critical when handling scrap. Master alloys, on the other hand, are produced in solid ingots or sows, so sharp edges are not a concern during handling.

Slips and Falls 

Raw alloying agents such as magnesium and silicon are supplied in cardboard bags or super sacks, which operators open and then shovel into the furnace. This can be a messy process because the material can easily spill onto the floor either during transport or loading. These spills can create a slip and fall hazard that could cause injury to a team member walking through the area. With master alloys, the alloying agent is already “baked in,” so there’s no need to worry about handling messy bags of fine materials.


Lifting Injuries

Lifting and hauling scrap metal and raw alloying agents is hard and heavy work. The material must be transported from storage to the furnace, and then lifted or shoveled in. Every lift your team members perform poses an on-the-job injury risk, so reducing the number of times they have to lift creates a safer environment. Master alloys are a single, furnace-ready product that accomplishes this in your operation.


Burns and Heat Exposure

It’s no secret that working with hot metals is a dangerous job. Using a combination of scrap metal or prime materials and raw alloying agents requires your furnace operators to stir the material throughout the melting process. Every time the furnace door opens, your operator is exposed to this excess heat. Master alloys require less stirring since they have consistent melt rates and are already in solution when they are loaded into the furnace. 


Enhance Quality and Safety with Master Alloys

Not only do master alloys reduce injury risks in your operation, but they also enhance the quality and consistency of your end product while helping you advance your sustainability. If you’re interested in learning more about how master alloys can help you achieve better results in your foundry, mill, or casting operation, connect with a Shapiro MasterAlloys expert today!