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Magnetic Pulse Nonferrous Metals Separator


Development of Machine for Separation of Nonferrous Metals

Tech Area / Field

  • MAN-MCH/Machinery and Tools/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • St Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Russia, St Petersburg\nRussian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Applied Physics, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod


  • Agency for Industrial Science and Technology / AIST Tsukuba Central 2 / Energy Electronics Institute, Japan, Tsukuba

Project summary

It is the main goal of the proposed project to develop a prototype of magnetic - pulse machine for separation of nonferrous metals intended for use in industrial applications.

The Project is to work towards the development and building of a magnetic - pulse nonferrous metals separator that would allow much higher efficiency in the recovery and separation of different nonferrous metals from household or industrial scrap metal, which is an important technological problem of real commercial interest.

The Project can provide peaceful use of the expertise of Russian scientists specialized in the fields associated with nuclear weapons development, testing and production. Financially, considerable support will be given to 20 specialists involved in nuclear industry today. As complementary results of this Project, there will be close cooperative ties organized between the nuclear weapons scientists and other scientists in Russia, and the weapons experts will become involved into the realm of marketplace relations. Commercialization of the Project could provide reasonable living to the Project participants after completion of the effort.

Area of technology: waste reprocessing. Separation of metallic waste into size fractions for enriching the output metal product before its further recycling.

Magnetic pulse separator machine serves to remove nonferrous metals from contaminated scrap (as pieces of metal mixed with dielectric materials), while separating, for example, between items of copper and aluminum alloys. This process is meant for scrap metal of both household and industrial origin after it is crushed and has ferromagnetic bodies removed therefrom with regular electric magnets. The separator may be useful for other purposes too, particularly, domestic waste treatment and mining industry. Operation of the magnetic pulse separator is as follows: there are conducting bodies made to accelerate and dropped off the transporter belt, which is achieved using a shock produced by high magnetic field pulse. The field is generated by a solenoid, which is beneath the transporter, when discharge current from a capacitor bank flows therethrough. Performance requirements of the machine are such that conducting bodies of different densities must have very distinctive ballistic paths, which helps separate between copper and aluminum bodies for they are supposed to go to different receiving bins. Along with this, dielectric bodies are to be field - unaffected and remain on the belt to be afterwards dumped into waste collector. It is advantageous of magnetic pulse separator that it can recover small - size fractions where the bodies are typically less than 50 mm in size, whereas traditional technologies are only efficient for separation of larger bodies.

The separator to be developed has the following main characteristics:

– capacity for source material -3 m3/ hr;

– pulse spacing - 3-4 s;
– power consumption - up to 8 kW;
– output purity (for aluminum) - over 90%.

The following proposed participants in this Project offer relevant experience in this subject area:

– RFNC- VNIIEF, Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod region;

– St.Petersburg State Technical University, St.Petersburg;
– Institute of Applied Physics RAS, Nizhny Novgorod.

The scientific and technological approach and methodology of the research are based on the data provided in scientific publications by the Project participants [1-4] and their presentations to international meetings [5].

The Project is important in that:

– it will offer a new electrophysics design that employs magnetic pulse technology to improve efficiency of the household and industrial scrap metal processing and separation of nonferrous metals;

– it will help redirect weapons scientists to peaceful activities and allow their financial support during the Project performance;
– upon completion of the Project, there will be employment opportunities provided to the nuclear scientists with civilian jobs related to their professional background.

The project meets the ISTC goals in that it allows an opportunity for a team of Russian scientists having expertise in weapons of mass destruction to switch their efforts over to peaceful work.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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