Steinert will be presenting its new LIBS sorting system for aluminum alloys of classes 5xxx and 6xxx at IFAT 2024. This should set new standards in precision and efficiency. With purities of over 95%, the new LIBS system should achieve qualities that allow the sorted material to be fed directly back into the production process. If you don’t want to wait until IFAT, you can also find it at the Steinert stand at ISRI in Las Vegas (April 15-18).

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The new Steinert Plasmax LIBS (Photo: Steinert)

LIBS stands for “Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy”, a technology used to analyze the elemental composition of materials. A high-energy laser beam strikes the aluminum, vaporizing matter and creating a plasma that is several thousand degrees hot and then decays into light emissions. Spectral analysis can be used to determine its elemental composition and separate aluminum alloys from one another with the utmost precision.

The LIBS sorting system has a processing capacity of 3 – 6 t/h with 3 material outputs (see cover photo). The system is based on the Steinert KSS platform and can therefore be integrated into existing systems.

“The precise sorting of aluminum alloys using the Steinert PLASMAX I LIBS provides qualities that create an excellent basis for the increasing demand for recycled aluminum. Especially in the course of the necessary decarbonization of the automotive industry and its supply chains, the increased use of high-quality recycled materials is essential. I am very pleased that with Steinert PLASMAX I LIBS we are able to present a specially developed technology that once again sets new standards in the aluminum recycling economy,” says Karl Hoffmann, Global Sales Director Metal Recycling at Steinert.

New alloy sorting

A specially developed multi-stage feed system ensures optimum loading of the conveyor belt. This is followed by 3D detection and high-precision in-flight detection, i.e. detection immediately after the material has left the belt. Supported by kinetic energy, the material flies through the laser unit in a stable parabola. The innovative multi-spot analysis guarantees optimum detection with several laser measuring points that hit the material at exactly the right angle. The plasma created when the laser pulse hits the aluminum is evaluated with AI support and separated into one of the three outputs in the next moment by a compressed air pressure pulse.

Cover photo: Three sorting products in one sorting run for the simultaneous production of several target qualities. (Source: Steinert)