Defining Melting Furnaces

by | Mar 14, 2014 | Construction and Maintenance

When it comes to industry, particularly those involved with metals, it is essential you recreate the ore or the slab of metal. If you want a final product, you need to be able to melt, form and shape it. This requires a vast amount of heat. The sources for this are melting furnaces.

What is a Melting Furnace?

A Melting Furnace, as the name indicates, is a furnace created to melt down particular material. It can melt down such things as steel, copper and aluminum. Like a regular furnace, it has heat controls and is able to rise to specific temperatures depending upon the design and its purpose. This reflects the diverse industries and materials they use.

They come in two basic shapes: rectangular and round. The former is commonly used for melting salts to use in several processes including heat treating, quenching and tempering. Rectangular furnaces also are employed to melt metals with a low-melting point. Among these are babbitt, lead, pewter, and solder.

Round melting furnaces have a different purpose. They process various white and soft metals. These include bismuth, zinc. The different requirements of the materials, and the industries that use them, result in the production of different types of melting furnaces.

Types of Melting Furnaces

The industry has produced several different types of furnaces. Among the most commonly used are:

  • Blast
  • Cupola most popular melting furnace in ferrous foundries
  • Electric Arc Furnace – for melting iron and steel.

Induction Furnace – both metal and non-ferrous materials and resources. It may be either a coreless induction or channel induction furnace

  • Vault Furnace – another name for cupola

However, one of the oldest and still popular for melting and holding little lots of non-ferrous alloys is the crucible melting furnace.

Crucible Melting Furnaces

When it comes to types of melting furnaces, crucible furnaces are the oldest. They have been around for hundreds of years. They are considered reliable if not the most efficient. There are two major types of crucible furnaces. They are:

  • Electricity resistance furnaces
  • Gas (oil) fired furnaces

Both types reflect the characteristics that have made them the most enduring of melting furnaces currently in operation.

Characteristics of a Good Melting Furnace

Currently, it is not possible to design and construct one furnace that can perform what it is requested by the different industries. The heating requirements can be as divergent as the melting point of metals varies considerably. The size of the company’s output also reflects what type of furnace is needed. In general, the ideal melting furnaces not only respond to the demands of a production crew but also are also sensitive to the requirements of the product. They are sturdy, low-maintenance. Yet, if you want the best melting furnaces on the market, be sure they are also energy efficient and fiscally responsive.


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