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Archive for July, 2016

Foundries and Furnaces

melting steel

According to Wikipedia, a foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. Metals are cast into shapes by melting them into a liquid, pouring the metal in a mold, and removing the mold material or casting after the metal has solidified as it cools. The most common metals processed are aluminum and cast iron. However, other metals, such as bronzebrasssteelmagnesium, and zinc, are also used to produce castings in foundries. In this process, parts of desired shapes and sizes can be formed.

At 21st Century Steel Mill, Incorporated, we do not have a foundry but we have a furnace.  Furnaces are refractory-lined vessels that contain the material to be melted and provide the energy to melt it. Modern furnace types include electric arc furnaces (EAF), induction furnacescupolasreverberatory, and crucible furnaces. Furnace choice is dependent on the alloy system quantities produced. For ferrous materials EAFs, cupolas, and induction furnaces are commonly used. Reverberatory and crucible furnaces are common for producing aluminium, bronze, and brass castings.

Furnace design is a complex process, and the design can be optimized based on multiple factors. Furnaces in foundries can be any size, ranging from small ones used to melt precious metals to furnaces weighing several tons, designed to melt hundreds of pounds of scrap at one time. They are designed according to the type of metals that are to be melted. Furnaces must also be designed based on the fuel being used to produce the desired temperature. For low temperature melting point alloys, such as zinc or tin, melting furnaces may reach around 500° C. Electricity, propane, or natural gas are usually used to achieve these temperatures. For high melting point alloys such as steel or nickel-based alloys, the furnace must be designed for temperatures over 1600° C.

In short, it’s really HOT!

Categories: Innovation, Uncategorized