A Molten Iron Improvement Strategy

The development of high-quality iron castings begins with melting processes and techniques. You control how it is melted, giving you the final call in determining its quality. Everything depends on you. Molten iron contains desirable and undesirable elements. In a ferrous foundry, you control both of these. From the scrap metal that is the raw-material source for much of the melt come residual elements like chrome, manganese, nickel, aluminum, etc., that may compromise the quality […]

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Treating Molten Metal to Reduce Refractory Erosion

Refractory erosion in iron melting is seldom attributable to mechanical wear. Erosion generally is the aftermath of slag’s chemical attack – chemical reactions between slag and refractory – producing reaction byproducts that enter the slag. The overall effect is refractory’s effective protection layer, the thickness of the refractory lining, is continually eaten away, eventually leading to failure. Refractory industry ceramic engineers have long used a very precise, real-time method to observe refractory-molten metal interactions via […]

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Treating Oxidation to Reduce Iron Casting Scrap

Steel producers have long recognized the role that free oxygen atoms play in the formation of defects in their finished products. Appliance-grade steels, deep-draw can steels, and many other grades cannot tolerate surface blemishes or defects. Steel industry metallurgists determined the defect-formation is directly correlated to free-oxygen content in steel, prompting them to go to extremes in their efforts to shroud molten steel from atmospheric contact. Despite the effort, iron oxide tenaciously formed and steel […]

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Controlling Molten Iron Chemistry and Metal Fluidity

The ingredients of a furnace charge, whether it is an electric furnace or a cupola melter, are formulated to produce the final chemistry required for the castings to be poured. Unfortunately, formulating the charge does not determine the final chemistry or quality of the molten iron. Melting is not simply the process of re-melting existing metallic materials: Slag-induced influences during the melting process — caused or produced by the slag/metal chemical reaction — have a […]

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Controlling Iron Oxide to Stop Carbon and Silicon Losses

Carbon and silicon oxidation losses always occur in iron melting. The losses are costly, but they can be prevented easily with newly available technology. Free-oxygen atoms present in the molten iron cause oxidation: These unwanted atoms are supplied by iron-oxide molecules contacting the molten metal surface. Oxygen atoms cannot be “removed” effectively from molten iron. Nothing can be done to stop the “oxidation” process once they enter molten iron. Oxygen atoms seek out and combine […]

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Harmful Effects of Molten Metal Oxidation

The oxygen atom’s presence in molten iron produces many harmful effects, nearly all unknown to iron foundries. Few, if any, countermeasures are taken to address oxidation during melting. The industry simply accepts free oxygen as a normal part of molten iron. A basic fact is that molten iron is oxidized by atmospheric contact. The steel industry goes to great lengths attempting to stop oxidation via tightly shrouding molten steel, but this action fails in the […]

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