Quick-Change Crucible Assemblies
Crucible system assemblies are pre-packed crucibles inside a container which can be lifted into and out of a furnace for immediate use.
They consist of a steel cage, with an insulating clip to act as circuit breaker, containing the crucible, backing material and slip plane, as illustrated in the schematic.
A major advantage lies in productivity improvement, eliminating the lengthy downtime involved in knocking out a spent crucible and re-packing a new one. The gap between melting campaigns can be further reduced by employing a pre-heat station which would minimise the crucible commissioning time.
Repacking a new crucible can be done on-site. In the UK a return to base service is offered, eliminating all downtime spent on crucible changes.
If working with a vacuum furnace, then the danger of casting contamination by stray backing material particles in the vacuum chamber is eliminated; and it’s just so much easier working outside the chamber.
Recent improvements to the material specifications and construction has markedly improved the longevity and performance of the assemblies. They can be designed to fit most induction furnaces and supplied with Zirconia or Alumina AZ crucibles.