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PRODUCT INNOVATIONS New Product


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Combined Melting and Holding Furnace Yields Energy Savings A compact furnace developed by


Nippon Crucible Co., Tokyo, combines the features of a tower melting furnace and crucible holding furnace for ef- ficient continuous aluminum melting and holding. The Mel-Keeper furnace, which is distributed through Morganite Crucible Inc., Wallingford, Ct., in the U.S., offers energy savings and high melt yield through low-temperature melting (tapping temperature is be- tween 1,112-1,184F [600-640C]). The equipment consists mainly of


a furnace body, combustion system, combustion safety system, automatic temperature control system, charging system and movable tower. Aluminum ingots and returns are


preheated in the tower and melted in a crucible. When the molten alumi- num reaches a certain volume, it flows


continuously out of the taphole into a connected holding crucible, where it is stored. The continuous melting helps lower the temperature of the molten aluminum and contributes to the avoidance of oxides, slag and hydrogen gas. Indirect heating in the holding


crucible also protects from aluminum oxidation and reduces metal loss. Continuous degassing with nitrogen or argon gas and fluctuation of molten metal of less than +/-9F (+/-5C) results in a hydrogen gas content of less than 0.16cc/100g. Because materials are preheated


in the tower, exhaust heat is emitted at a low temperature, contributing to energy savings. Further, the melting temperature is as close as possible to the melting point, requiring less energy


than higher temperature furnaces. At 3.9 x 7.2 x 8.7 ft. (1,200 x 2,220


x 2,650 mm), the compact furnace releases waste heat at 842F (450C) or less and emits low noise. Ceramic fiber can be used for the inner lining, adding to the furnace’s light weight and allowing heating and start-up within 60-90 minutes. Because of the quick start-up, burners can be turned off completely on weekends or overnight. Nippon Crucible has paired the Mel-Keeper furnace with its Zebrax graphite crucibles, which feature vertical convex and concave grooves that increase the surface area to re- ceive more heat. With 30% increased surface area, the crucibles save 8-10% on energy.


MC Visit www.rutsubo.com for more information.


The Mel-Keeper continuous aluminum melting and holding crucible furnace system can be used in diecasting, permanent mold and sand casting facilities.


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Nippon Crucible’s Zebrax crucible is vertically-grooved for increased surface area to receive more heat. The 30% increased surface area results in 8-10% energy savings.


MODERN CASTING / January 2011


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