Melting of reactive and refractory metals

Delivers significant improvements in the properties of conventional alloys as well as offering the potential to develop and produce new complex alloys.

A Retech Plasma Arc Melting furnace uses electrically excited gas, typically Helium or Argon, to melt reactive and refractory metals in a sealed chamber, under inert atmosphere. The Cold Hearth furnace is devoid of contaminating elements such as oxygen and yields clean, as-cast metal by removing high and low density inclusions. Our plasma furnaces can be designed in a wide range of sizes, from a few pounds to many tonnes for production of ingots and powder to castings. The furnaces can be configured with one or multiple torches and with any number of feed systems, as well as casting and withdrawal chambers to suit individual requirements.

Retech operates one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive plasma research programmes; as a commitment to remain the world’s foremost producer of Plasma Arc Melters, more than 200 alloys have been melted in our research facility.

Process applications

  • Hearth melting
  • Scrap consolidation
  • Ingots
  • Slab
  • Powder

Material applications

  • Nickel & Nickel-based alloys
  • Titanium & Titanium alloys
  • Titanium & Nickel aluminides
  • Niobium & Niobium alloys
  • Silicon
  • Zirconium
  • Tantalum
  • Tungsten
  • Rare earth metals
  • Chromium
  • Palladium
  • Iridium

Features

  • Finest-grain ingot microstructure
  • Maintains chemical composition of complex alloys
  • Plasma cold hearth melting proven to eliminate high density and low density inclusions in Titanium alloys
  • WinTorch® computerised torch motion profilers offer user-friendly furnace automation
  • Accepts a variety of feed material configurations, such as scrap, sponge, compacts, bars and chips
  • Offers significant cost savings by eliminating electrode welding and primary consumable arc processing
  • Torches operable on a variety of gases, including helium, argon, nitrogen and hydrogen
  • Gas recovery and reuse systems with full range of capacities available
  • High throughput refining technology
  • Typical power from 75kW to 3000 kW
  • Wide product range; typical sizes 60mm to 900mm (2.5″ to 36″) diameter ingot capacities