Cast iron & steel

OTTO JUNKER Vacuum melting furnace for TU Freiberg

The 27th Ledebur Colloquium, which again drew approx. 300 participants to Freiberg, started out with a very special event – the first pouring of the new coreless induction-type vacuum melting furnace supplied by OTTO JUNKER that took place in the presence of the Rector, Chancellor and Prorector of TU Bergakademie Freiberg and numerous convention guests.

The new melting system, funded by the Land of Saxony and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), enables the production of high-grade steel and cast iron melts of 100 to 300 kg. The ability to melt under vacuum if and as required allows engineers to produce low-gas, low-oxide melts to within narrow tolerance limits.
Vacuum treatment ensures optimum degassing and deoxidation of the melt. Alloying elements with a high affinity for oxygen can be added with melting losses at a minimum.

Moreover, the furnace is designed to serve low-pressure die casting applications as well. With given alloys, it is thus possible to combine the particularly high melt purity obtained under vacuum with the low-turbulence die filling performance typical of low-pressure casting, thus producing castings of unsurpassed quality. In addition, a frequency changing feature provides control of the bath movement independently of heat input.

And finally, thanks to its crucible monitoring system, the furnace ensures a high level of safety against melt break-through. The high versatility of this melting system is important to the realization of teaching and research projects at the Foundry Institute. A major research focus to be pursued with the aid of this furnace equipment lies in the development of high-temperature materials and the associated pouring methods.
The detailed specifications and equipment features are as follows:

  • Type MFTGe 300 kg / 150 kW / 100/500 Hz VAC
  • Frequency converter based on IGBT technology
  • Junker furnace control system JOKS 4.0 with touchscreen
  • Weighing system
  • OCP - Optical Coil Protection system
  • Crucible ejector
  • Vacuum pump set and vacuum hood
  • System for temperature measurement under vacuum
  • Provision of a second pressure-tight furnace lid for pressurized furnace operation
As part of a large-scale project undertaken with an industrial partner, a second furnace of identical design is to be supplied in the near future. However, this unit will be built for pressurized operation only and is intended to serve in diverse variants of low-pressure die casting. The furnace is key to the success of this large-scale project because alloy development is no longer conceivable without adaptable pouring technology today.
Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Voss

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