Understanding Induction Furnaces: A Brief Guide

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When it comes to selecting the best melting furnace for your foundry, there are a couple of options to choose from. However, induction melting furnaces can have a couple of key benefits that are worth keeping in mind.

Understanding Induction Melting

Before you install an induction furnace in your foundry, it’s important to understand how they operate. An induction furnace works by transferring heat energy via a high-voltage primary coil that induces a high current, a low voltage, or a secondary coil. These types of furnaces are great for melting a wide array of metals while maintaining a low level of melt loss.

There are two main varieties of these furnaces: coreless and channel.

  • Coreless: Coils are the primary heating component in a coreless furnace. The coil — from which this furnace gets its name — is created from highly conductive copper tubing and is wound into a helical coil before being placed inside a steel casing. To mitigate the risk of overheating, the coil itself is water-cooled via a recirculating tower. The frequencies used can vary between 50 cycles and 10,000 cycles per second (known as mains frequency and high frequency, respectively). The higher the frequency, the greater the amount of power that can be applied to the furnace. Once the material has reached a molten state, the interaction between the magnetic field and electrical currents produces a stirring reaction that helps mix alloys and distribute temperature evenly throughout. 
  • Channel: A channel induction furnace is made up of a refractory steel casing that holds the heated metal. Attached to this is the primary induction unit. This unit contains an iron core, around which an induction coil is wrapped. The heat generated causes the metal to circulate into the main well, creating its own stirring action — similar to the one mentioned above. These types of furnaces are good for melting alloys with low melting points or as a holding compartment for metals with higher melting points. 

The Benefits of Induction Furnaces

Regardless of the type of induction furnace your foundry needs, there are specific benefits that this type can offer which other alternatives simply can’t match. Induction furnaces are good for melting metals such as gold and silver, copper, aluminum, silicon, brass, and zinc. Steel and iron can also be melted for industrial use. They don’t require much space to function, making them great for foundries of all sizes. They are also more eco-friendly than some other alternatives. They are highly energy-efficient, which means they won’t detrimentally impact a companies bottom line when it comes to energy consumption, and they are great for a foundry that wants to lessen their environmental footprint when it comes to production. They have less burn loss and produce higher yields overall, as well as making automation easier than alternatives.

When considering what furnace is best for your foundry, consider the benefits of induction melting and if an induction furnace would be right for you. Not only can they save on space, but they reduce loss, save energy, and can melt the most commonly used types of metal.

If your foundry is in need of a melting furnace, don’t hesitate to reach out to a manufacturer if you have any questions or would like more information.

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