Sugar cane technology mobilizes South America 2 minutes spent reading

Sugar cane technology mobilizes South America

Thais Kohn

Sugar cane is the primary raw material for the Brazilian sugar and ethanol industry. Villares Metals participates in this production chain by supplying forged milling axles.

milling sugar cane

Sample of a milling suit used for milling sugar cane.

The purpose for its processing may be two-fold: the production of sugar and ethanol. The development of ethanol technology as a clean and renewable energy source is extremely significant, and Villares Metals, a Brazilian voestalpine company, is an active participant in this production chain. Ethanol is an ecologically correct fuel that does not affect the ozone layer, since it is obtained from crop plants such as sugar cane, corn, beets, wheat and manioc.


sugar cane

Planting sugar cane helps to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through photosynthesis in the reeds and increases moisture in the air and the retention of rainwater.

During the production of sugar as well as ethanol, the milling stage is a necessary component for extraction of the liquor. During the milling stage, the defibered cane is sent through the milling suits to extract the liquor. Each set of milling rolls, mounted in a structure known as a “castle” is a milling suit. The number of suits used in the milling process varies from four to seven, and each of them comprises three main rolls: intake roll, the upper roll and the outlet roll.


A cast iron milling screen is mounted on each shaft, and it is changed between every harvest. Sugar cane milling rolls are considered to be strategic components within the milling system, since any failure may cause significant losses, due to the high replacement cost as well as the costs incurred by the shutdown time required for their replacement.


Villares Metals participates in this production chain by supplying forged milling axles, made of mechanically constructed steel weighing 5 to 20 tons each, and that have a service life of up to 20 years.