We do not have aluminium spoons or forks in the kitchen anymore, however theкe is something made of aluminium there which we use pretty often. It is foil.
Aluminium foil is one of the most popular materials used in food production, electrical industry, pharmacological industry, and automobile industry. It has great heat conduction characteristics, it is hygienic, easy to use and, what is most important, it is environmentally sound because it utterly disappears in the ground.
To produce aluminium foil, it is necessary to build a factory with melting furnaces and a rolling mill which could roll out aluminium bars into sheets which are just 5 micrometers thick.
In 1993 such a factory was build near the aluminium production factory in Sayanogorsk we have mentioned in one of our previous articles. Now this factory produces up to 70% of aluminium foil of the country.
It is a melting department. Here they pour melted aluminium into a furnace where it gets degassed. They add modifiers to make the aluminium structure better.
So, the melt is ready. After that they make an aluminium tape (6-10 milimeters thick and 1200-1650 milimeters wide) out of it.
The hot aluminium tape is twisted into rolls…
… which go into the burning furnace where they gets heated to re-establish the lattice for the metal to become durable and holeproof.
Then the tape goes onto the rolling mill.
Foil producers compete with each other in attempt to make their foil thinner than it was and every micrometer counts! The first foil this factory produced was 11 micrometers thick. As the time went by and the factory was getting more and more experienced, they learnt how to make it thinner. Now they produce 5-micrometer-thick foil (for you to understand how small this is – a human hair is usually 40-50 micrometers thick). This foil is mostly used in capacitor production and food production.
When the foil gets thin enough, they combine two sheets and roll them together, using a lot of of water-and-oil mix.
Isn’t it amazing that such thin foil going so fast through the press, remains intact?
After they have rolled the two sheets together, the foil gets double-sided (one side is mat and the other is glossy).
Now they have to make two rolls out of the double-sided one and cut them. After that the rolls go into the burning furnace. This production is almost non-waste because everything what is left, gets pressed and goes into the melting furnace again.
Finished cut foil is used for packing. Another part goes for further processing which is matting (they glue the foil onto paper, for example) thus producing foil-based packaging material .
Eight-sectional foil gravure printing machines.
At this factory, they also create their own designs of packagin material.
They take an experimental sample before printing.
It is just like a real printing establishment but instead of paper, they use foil.
They have a big choice of goods and many of them are exported to the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia (46 countries of the five continents). As for the Russian market, this foil is used by 350 enterprices in 40 Russian regions. The main problems they face are business competition from the part of China and rise in transport costs.