Metal has long since been a staple construction material for humanity, and early metallurgy in Europe and the Middle East represented a turning point for pre-historic societies, such as the Bronze Age. Fast forward many centuries, and metal has become a dominant material for construction, and often for larger scale projects. Modern buildings call for metal such as I-beams and more for office buildings, and metal is also needed for large industries such as the automotive industry for the millions of cars and trucks that are built around the world, and other machines like tractors, bulldozers, trains, aircraft, and more require a great deal of metal to be made and function. For industry, meanwhile, metal makes up most machinery and components for manufacturing anything from chemicals to cars to computers, and all this metal has to come from somewhere. Crude iron and tin the ground will not do; a metal melting furnace is needed for today’s standards of both quality and quantity of metals of all kinds, and a metal melting furnace will not only remove impurities and help workers shape metal for later use, but an induction furnace can also help with the creation of metal alloys. Business owners will want to keep their metal melting furnace in good shape. How can they be maintained, and what products can be expected?
Metal ranks as among the most important materials for human use alongside wood, glass, rubber, and plastic. Steel production has been high ever since the Industrial Revolution, such as Andrew Carnegie’s steel mills, and in the 21st century, steel is bigger than ever. For example, the world’s crude steel production in 2017 reached an impressive total of 1.69 billion tonnes, which represents a 3.9% increase from 2016′s production total. The United States stand as the single biggest importer of this metal, and in 2017, that nation imported steel that added up to $27 billion in total, and China and Canada are two of the United States’ biggest sources. Canada, for example, provides about 17% of the steel that American industries need. Other heavily industrial nations such as China, Japan, Germany, and more also have an appetite for steel, and there are some industries in the United States and beyond that get the lion’s share of this metal. Around the globe, nearly 50% of steel is used for constructing buildings, and another 13% goes to the automotive industry. Car-building nations like the United States, Germany, and Japan may import a lot of steel and related products to keep up with demand for cars and trucks. Meanwhile, another 16% of the world’s steel is used for mechanical equipment such as manufacturing or robotics.
A Metal Melting Furnace
Steel does not come out of the ground ready for use. Rather, crude steel and other metals must be melted in a metal melting furnace, and steel melting and other melting work involves induction heating equipment, which can reach very high temperatures to melt steel and more into a usable product. These induction heating coils are often made out of tungsten and tough glass to keep up with industrial-level demand, and any responsible factory owner will regularly have these components inspected and repaired if need be so that they do not fail, or else production may grind to a halt. No ordinary metal will do; these filaments and electrodes are built from famously tough metals like tungsten or sometimes molybdenum.
Steel melting is a big business, but alloys are important too, and some jobs call for different kids of metal. No metal is one-size-fits-all; steel is vital for many industries, but it would perform poorly in more specialized roles. For this reason, various alloys have been developed, containing such metals as steel, copper, nickel, and more to create alloys with desirable properties. Underwater pipes, for example, are constantly exposed to salty water, so their metal must be an alloy that can resist that salinity. Chemical plants will have their tanks, pipes, and valves made from chemical-resistant alloys, and other alloys, like for metal bellows, can resist extreme heat, cold, or pressure while still being flexible enough for their work. Factory workers can inspect pipes or bellows to fix potential leaks or corrosion.