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Slightly OT, but interesting for aluminum casting

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  • Slightly OT, but interesting for aluminum casting

    I'd like to see this scaled up to be able to handle 10-20 lbs of aluminum per heat, but I love the idea of not needing a crucible.

    First 1:30 is kinda boring. Action starts around 1:45.

  • #2
    Yea but.....

    I'd be concerned about temperature control, aluminum has a fairly narrow temperature window before you start damaging the features of an alloy.

    I did an aluminum casting using Propane but it seemed to use a fair bit of gas for a fairly small casting. I was thinking about trying to use a charcoal fire to melt the metal. My concern is about the lenght of time the metal would be on the heat cycle again because it could affect the metalurgy with the amout of time the material would be exposed to air. That said, is there any reason you couldn't use an inert gas on top of your melt to keep out the oxygen (such as nitrogen)?
    Allans Rule: Anything worth doing is going to be a pain in the butt.


    • #3
      Wow, very cool! That's not OT!

      Floating on the Lorentz force...
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


      • #4

        English and link to site.


        • #5
          so is that 15kw mains power or 15kw coil power

          seems too small a coil a to me to be of any use.....nothing practical about them that size

          suppose when they get bigger and aproaching usefulness, the power consumption then reaches beyond domestic capabilities

          all the best.markj


          • #6
            I could be mistaken, but at the Kaiser rolling mill here I watched them build a special ingot casting furnace that used some kind of magnetic field to form the continuous cast ingots used for rolling.

            Normally the molten aluminum was poured into a mold made in the desired rectangle size of the ingot. The mold was covered on the bottom with a plate that was lowered as the metal cooled and as more molten metal was added to the top It would of course grow in length until the size they wanted was reached. The pouring would stop, the mold lifted away and the ingot was pulled up out of the pit.

            This furnace, instead of a metal mold, used some kind of electrical field to make the width and thickness desired. The control of the "drop" was done the same as usual. There was a rumor that they were hoping to get a surface on the ingot that did not require scalping (facing the ingot faces smooth before rolling). The scalping/facing was done on a special horizontal milling machine with a giant facing cutter about 6 ft in diameter or so.

            It did not work. The same, much reduced, but still there, continuous casting marks were still there.

            The setup took several months to build and was very costly. There were very large and complicated electrical panels and the crew wore special coveralls. They looked special anyway. There were also large curtains mounted on rolling frames that were moved into place to shield the area while the process was taking place. There was nothing really to see as it basically looked like any of the other furnaces and casting pits except for all the electrical equipment. Yes, I peeked around one the curtains to see it working.

            They made several ingots with the thing and then tore out the special "molds" and control panels and made it back into a regular casting station.

            Pretty amazing and spooky stuff.


            • #7
              i supppose if you automated that coil ..and had a long sort of alluminium wire passing through it via wire feed motor..and then had the mold would work .

              all the best..markj


              • #8
                I want to know where the glow is coming from, especially because it looks ultraviolet. Molten aluminum doesn't glow much at normal melting temperatures. It is an almost perfect internal reflector so any glow is retained within the material.

                Molten aluminum:

                Never mind. I just remembered that it is an artifact of the camera. The silicon sensor is very sensitive to infrared and with that high a temperature it will overwhelm the IR filter in the camera. It doesn't look that way to the eye.
                Last edited by Evan; 04-29-2012, 03:17 PM.
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