In the modern world, metals such as steel, titanium, copper, and more are vital for construction of buildings, cars, pipes, and other finished goods. Metals are mined out of the ground every year around the globe, but these metals are typically melted down and purified in furnaces and refineries such as a copper melting furnace or induction furnaces before use in industry. A copper melting furnace can properly melt copper and remove its impurities, and these copper melting furnaces are important for many metal alloys that make use of copper. Steel melting at an induction furnace is another common scenario, and unsurprisingly, steel is one of the most widely used refined metals today. But steel alone cannot do everything, so alloys exist as well for specialized work. What is there to know about steel, a copper melting furnace, and more?
Steel and Alloys
One may first consider these metals and what they are used for. As mentioned above, steel is widely used for many industries and may help building anything from a car to a skyscraper to a surgeon’s medical tools. What is more, steel is highly recyclable, and as much as 90% of the world’s steel is recycled, from metal roofs to old cars and steel shipping containers. Ever since the Industrial Revolution in England and the United States, steel has grown as an industry, and in 2017, global world crude steel production reached a total of 1.69 billion tonnes. Around half of all steel is dedicated to buildings and infrastructure, and another 13% goes toward the auto production industry. The United States stands as the world’s biggest importer of steel, and in 2017, this nation imported $27 billion worth of it. The United States produces some of its own steel, and imports the rest from nations such as China, Canada, and Germany. Canada alone provides 17% of all American steel, and the United States often exports its own steel back to Canada.
Steel is highly useful, to be sure, but some industries call for more specialized metals. Steel is tough, but it may melt at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and may not stand up well to corrosive materials or extremes of pressure. Therefore, alloys are built and used, and may involve metals such as steel, copper, nickel, titanium, and more. Engineers have developed certain recipes for alloys and have determined the percentages for each involved metal for optimal performance. Some steel alloys are used for making underwater pipes that can endure constant exposure to salt water, and other metals are used in chemical refineries and plants to endure corrosive materials. Yet other metals are used for extremes of pressure, bearing weight, heat, or cold that would ruin any pure metal such as steel or copper. Pipes, valves, storage tanks, and more may be made from such alloys, but they should still be regularly checked and inspected for any developing leaks, corrosion, or other issues. Alloys are tough and specialized, but items made from them are not indestructible. Checking them for faults allows any property owner to get repairs done before the problem gets worse, or very hot, corrosive, or pressurized materials might leak where they do not belong.
Melting the Metal
Metals are mined right from the earth, but they contain impurities that may affect their performance. Raw metals, as well as old metal items earmarked for recycling, may be brought to refineries and forges to be melted down in induction furnaces. These are no ordinary ovens; rather, these copper melting furnaces and other metal melting furnaces make use of electric filaments and titanium electrodes that may heat the metals to an extremely high temperature, very quickly. This is done without even coming into contact with the materials themselves, preventing contamination of the melted steel or copper during this work. And of course, these filaments, electrodes, and other hardware in the furnace should be checked regularly for any defects or damage before use, and repairs may be done if necessary. When the metals are properly melted and molten, impurities are removed and filtered out, and purer steel, copper, and other metals may then be made and cooled into sheets or rods or any other shape. Steel sheets may even be rolled at room temperature to further refine them before shipping.