With its strength, versatility and light weight among other attributes, steel continues to be one of the world’s most widely used building materials. The year 2016 saw the world produced more than 1,600 tons of steel alone.
Steel continues to be a popular building material, especially in the US construction industry. The United States remains one of the top steel-producing industries in the world, producing up to 82 metric tons just in 2017. In that same year, the U.S. imported more than $25 million worth of steel.
With so much steel being produced, a great deal of it is melted for various manufacturing processes. With the development of new techniques, the process of melting metal has changed and an induction melting furnace is one example of new technology used in melting various metals.
Just what is induction heating? An induction heating system is made up of a power supply and an inuction heating coil. The power supply is for converting line power to alternating current or AC before it is delivered to a workhead. The workhead is put in the inuction heating coil so that heat is produced when the electric current hits it.
In short: induction heating produces an electromagnetic field in an inuction heating coil that transfers energy to a work piece, which is than heated. When current passes through the inuction heating coil, a magnetic field is produced around the coil.
Induction heating can be used with a wide array of metals and in a variety of processes including welding, melting, curing, brazing, sealing and shrink fitting.
There are many benefits to using an induction melting furnace and these include:
- The melting process can be controlled easier.
- An induction furnace uses electricity, which means it’s clean and efficient.
- It also uses electromagnets, which can heat and melt metal.
- The technology used in an induction melting furnace allows for the melting of many metals, such as copper, aluminum, gold and silver.
- A metal melting furnace is used in many industries, such as the automotive industry because they don’t take up much space and offer a wide variety of options when dealing with different metals.
- An induction melting furnace offers a more eco-friendly approach to metal melting. By their very nature, induction melting furnaces are used with an eye toward energy efficiency. As a result, many companies have opted for this method of melting metals in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
While induction provides many advantages for heating and melting metals such as steel, there are a few disadvantages that come with the process. Tools like a heating furnace can require a big investment up front, which can depend on how automated the equipment is. In addition, there are only certain steels that can be heated and melted using this process. A third drawback with the method is that its use is limited to heating and melting components which have a suitable shape for induction heating and hardening.
Induction heating for materials like steel offers plenty of benefits to those who use the process. But it does come with a few drawbacks, which might limit what you can do with induction heating regardless of which process you’re using.