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Arc Furnace Melting and

Sand Casting of Aluminum


and Copper
James Bonnell
James OBrien
Engr 45
Dec 8, 2004
Arc Furnace Typical Uses

Metal Recycling
Used to reclaim iron, nickel and cobalt alloy
Scrap is generally 100% of the charge
With computer control is used to separate
various mixed scrap to specific compositions
Arc Furnace
Benefits:
Cost per ton of final product is less
(taking into account all expendables)

Can melt almost any type of metallic scrap


Good for smaller production runs requiring
less capacity.

Source: http://tristate.apogee.net/et/
Power Consumption
Energy Required to Produce One Ton of
Liquid Steel
20

18

16

14
Million Btu

12

10

Arc Furnace Oxygen Furnace


Process

Source: http://tristate.apogee.net/et/
Cost Per Ton of Steel
Material Cost per Ton of Produced
Steel
140

120

100
Dollars per Ton

80

60

40

20

Arc Furnace Blast Furnace


Process

Source: http://tristate.apogee.net/et/
Basic Electric Arc Furnace
DC Electric Arc Furnace

www.jfe-21st-cf.or.jp
Current Carrying Capacity
Nominal Diameter Electrode Type

mm inch Regular Power High Power Ultra High Power

75 3 1,000 ~ 1,400

100 4 1,500 ~ 2,400

150 6 3,000 ~ 4,500

200 8 5,000 ~ 6,900 5,400 ~ 9,000

250 10 7,000 ~ 10,000 8,000 ~ 12,000

300 12 10,000 ~ 13,000 13,000 ~ 17,400 18,000 ~ 22,000

350 14 13,500 ~ 18,000 17,400 ~ 24,000 20,000 ~ 30,000

400 16 18,000 ~ 23,500 21,000 ~ 31,000 25,000 ~ 40,000

450 18 22,000 ~ 27,000 25,000 ~ 40,000 32,000 ~ 45,000

500 20 25,000 ~ 32,000 30,000 ~ 48,000 38,000 ~ 55,000

Source: www.foundrytraders.com
Our Arc Furnace
Started as a
standard arc lamp
used for exposing
photographic
emulsions.
Modified Arc Lamp
Moved the bottom
electrode to be
parallel with the top
electrode
Added:
Platform
Crucible
Attempted Arc Start with Steel
Arc Start with Carbon Rod
Sand Casting Mold and
Products

www.birt1.demon.co.uk www.simmons.com
Sand Casting Suitability
Advantages: Disadvantages:
Least Expensive Casting Can Only Cast Basic Part Shape
Process
Castings Require Secondary
Castings can be up to Several Machining
Tons
Less Expensive than Rough Surface Finish
Machining Shapes from Bar
Stock
Can Cast Intricate Shapes
Can be Used with Most
Pourable Metals and Alloys

www.casting-source.com
Casting Sand Types
Basic casting sand consists of bentonite
clay and sand (usually 120 grit)
Chromite sand: a high quality refractory
molding sand,with high chilling effect and
stability
Zircon sand: particularly suitable for higher
melting point alloys

Source: http://www.foundrytraders.com
Basic Tools
Shrinkage Consideration

Shrinkage Rate for Small Castings

Iron - 1/8" per foot


Steel - 1/4" per foot
Aluminum - 5/32" per foot
Brass - 3/16" per foot

www.casting-source.com
General Setup

www.lethbridgeironworks.com
Our setup and mold
Disappointing Results
Insufficient input heat
to maintain molten
state
Worked to melt small
samples
Crucible broke from
thermal shock when
the sample melted
Final Castings

Used Oxyacetylene Original


Torch to heat steel
crucible that would not
suffer thermal shock.
Cast aluminum and
copper alloys (not quite
enough heat input for
copper)