Inclusion identification and quantification analysis PoDFA

PoDFA, is a complete solution for inclusion measurement. It identifies the inclusions and gives their concentration in the melt for each type.



The PoDFA technique consists of filtering, under controlled conditions, a predetermined quantity of liquid aluminum through a very fine porosity filter disc. Inclusions of the melt are concentrated at the filter surface by a factor of 10,000.

Developed by Alcan and commercialized by ABB, PoDFA is a method of metal cleanliness evaluation that provides both qualitative information on the nature of inclusions and quantitative information on the inclusion concentration.

This technology is ideal for process control and development as well as for product certification. It can help assess the effect of various operating practices on metal cleanliness.


A liquid aluminum sample is taken from any locations in your process. This sample is poured into a PoDFA crucible and put on a small portable PoDFA sampling station. This station will create a vacuum to force the aluminum through the filter. When the metal is frozen, the filter, along with the residual metal, is cut, mounted and polished before being analyzed under a microscope by a trained PoDFA metallographer.

The samples can be sent to our lab for metallographic analysis. ABB offers PoDFA technology transfer and analysis training permitting you to proceed with your own analysis.

For example, PoDFA data allows the user to make a clear decision regarding the suitability of an individual production run for use in critical applications such as bright trim, can body stock, foil or lithographic sheet.

ABB's Reusable Crucible has been designed to better respond to the needs of cast houses and foundries by decreasing operational costs and labor time. This innovative approach effectively enables metal manufacturers to:

    • reduce the cost per sample
    • significantly reduce filter detachment occurrences
    • eliminate preparation time

The patented Reusable Crucible is a permanent crucible that can last for approximately 100 samples. A ready-to-use filter is easily installed in the crucible in a matter of seconds prior to each test. The Reusable Crucible needs to be preheated on the Crucible Heater prior to the sampling.

PoDFA System

The PoDFA Sampling Station is a low-cost portable equipment that allows to quickly and easily take PoDFA metal samples. It only requires electric power and compressed air. It uses reusable crucibles to collect the liquid aluminum sample. The crucible has to be pre-heated with the crucible heater.

PoDFA Metallographic Analysis
For the analysis of the PoDFA samples, two possibilities exist:

1. Send your samples to our lab:
Take advantage of our Metallographic Analysis Service (MAS). Simply send ABB your PoDFA samples. You will receive a report with the key residue pictures and a breakdown of each inclusion type expressed in mm2/kg of aluminum. All information is strictly confidential and reports are produced in less than two weeks.

2- Do the analyses yourself:
If you wish to perform your own analysis, ABB offers PoDFA technology transfer and analysis training. For those who prefer to do more than just the sampling, the vast body of knowledge of Alcan is readily transferable to your organization (PoDFA license). It includes metallographic training and a CD-ROM that contains a catalog of inclusions as well as methods. This valuable information has been optimized for over 30 years by Alcan on a wide variety of alloys.


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