The metal industry is a collective term for companies involved in the industrial production and processing of steel, light metals (e.g. magnesium and aluminium), non-ferrous metals (e.g. copper, zinc and nickel) and precious or special metals (e.g. gold and cadmium). Valves that are installed in the metal processing sector need to have correspondingly robust characteristics.
In Germany alone, the metal processing industry is one of the most important industrial sectors. Countries such as China, Japan, the USA or Russia are the leading players in the production of raw steel worldwide. As well as some large international corporations, a large proportion of metal processing is carried out by medium sized companies who offer a broad portfolio of metal products.
Valves installed in the metal processing sector are thus also used for a wide variety of applications from dosing liquids in welding technology, controlling sand for the production of casting moulds and shutting off the transport of metal granulates through to controlling the transport of the associated by-products and waste products.
The finished products are so diverse that they can be found in almost every sector. Whether for producing components for plant and mechanical engineering, rail and shipping traffic, the IT industry and precision mechanics through to the aerospace industry, metals are used or further processed in countless different sectors and branches. And the production and processing tasks for these products are as diverse as the fields of application for the products. Metal raw materials are processed in foundries for their subsequent application using various methods from rolling mills through to computer-aided CNC turning and milling machines.
Therefore, pinch valves play an important role in many different associated processes in the metal industry. They are used, for example, as control valves for moving metal powder and granulate or for transporting intermediate products such as aluminium oxide spheres.
In addition, pinch valves are used to control a whole range of contaminated liquids and suspensions. This includes acidic water that arises in many areas of metal processing or cooling lubricant that is used as a lubricant or coolant in metal processing.
Due to the extremely robust design of the individual components in the pinch valves, they are ideally adapted to meet the requirements of metal processing companies.
The rubber sleeve inside the valve has a particularly important task. It lies at the heart of every pinch valve and is decisive for shutting off and controlling product flows safely and reliably. AKO Armaturen has worked continuously over the last 30 years to develop the properties of the compounds and optimise the production of the sleeves and can now offer a wide variety of different elastomer compositions. As a result, the AKO range includes special abrasion-resistant sleeves that can also handle highly abrasive metallic media without any problem.
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