In a relentless pursuit of quality and speed, we added a Rayteq R-225 Electric resistive furnace for melting aluminum.
This furnace doe allows for several improvements for us here at Prototype Casting Inc..
First and foremost is metal quality. In a typical gas fired crucible furnace you can expect losses due to dross in the range of 5-6%. As gas burns it creates large amounts of water vapor. This reacts with molten metal forming aluminum oxide and hydrogen. Hydrogen is highly soluble in liquid aluminum. In an electric resistive furnace the melt loss is approximately 1%. This makes for much cleaner metal in the furnace and thus in the casting. While Prototype Casting employs the latest degassing and metal treating methods, eliminating 80% of the dross and all of the hydrogen during the melt makes a very large difference. Cleaner metal means more consistency in mechanical properties in the castings.
Next, automatic temperature control. The new furnace is equipped with an automatic Honeywell temperature controller. This allows the operator to set the temperature and walk away. The furnace ramps to the set temperature and holds until the molds are ready to pour. Metal temperature is much more accurate verses our old manual gas furnaces. This reduces variables in the casting process and makes for higher quality castings with fewer misruns. This was proven immediately as our misrun rate went from about 9% to less than 1% due to issues related to temperature of the pour.
Lastly, increased capacity. The new furnace doubles our useable pour capacity in a single shift. This means reduced lead times and increased throughput.