Aluminium Induction Furnace Theory

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Aluminium Induction Furnace Theory
Aluminium is a common metal in the Earth's crust and in our homes. (Aluminium cans on end image by Jeffrey Studio from Fotolia.com)

Aluminium, one of the most common metals on Earth, is used in several home and commercial products, such as soda cans and aluminium foil. An aluminium induction furnace is used to melt aluminium so it can be remoulded and reused. To understand how an aluminium induction furnace works, you must first understand the definition of a furnace, electromagnetic theory and induction heating theory.

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Definition of a Furnace

K. C. Bala describes a furnace as, "an apparatus in which heat is liberated and transferred directly to solid or fluid charge mass, for the purpose of effecting a physical or chemical change." In an aluminium induction furnace, heat is generated through electromagnetism.The heat transfers to the crucible, which holds the aluminium, so that it can be melted, causing a physical change of state.

Aluminium Induction Furnace Theory
Any metal can be made into a magnet when an electrical current is passed through it. (Schwebender Magnet image by Edwar Xie from Fotolia.com)

Electromagnetic Theory

When an electrical current is passed through a metal wire, a magnetic field is generated around that wire. Coiling the wire intensifies the magnetic field. That magnetic field can then be used to generate heat. This is how heat is generated in an induction furnace. A copper tube is coiled within the body of the furnace and around the crucible in the furnace's centre.

Induction Heating Theory

Induction heating means that the object to be heated does not actually come in contact with the heat source. In an induction furnace, the heat is generated through electromagnetism in the furnace body, which efficiently heats the aluminium contained in the crucible.

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