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5 Alloying
Alloying is the modification of melt chemistry to meet casting specifications. It is typically done in the melting furnace and adjusted in the holding furnaces or during transfer. Alloying elements include, but are not limited to: silicon, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper and chromium. Stirring and melt homogenization are key components of the alloying process. Alloying cycle times must allow for adequate dissolution time as well as for the time required to complete proper furnace skimming, refining and settling. For certain applications, there is a need to select highgrade alloys (for example, low Fe and Ca silicon metal for wheel/rim alloys). To maximize efficiency, operating practices must measure alloying recoveries, adjust furnace temperatures and processing techniques to optimise alloy additions. If operating in conjunction with a primary smelter, it is often possible to utilise the hot metal superheat a potential source of free furnace energy. Use powders, flakes and tablets rather than ingot or waffle to reduce energy costs and to accelerate dissolution rates when they can be efficiently stirred into the metal.