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Topic: 10kw Induction heater: levitation and forging (Read 3810 times) previous topic - next topic

imsmooth

Using the Atmega328, and programming it with the arduino duemilanove, I have put together a 10kw induction heater.  It is capable of boiling iron in a few seconds.  Here is a tutorial on how I designed and built it http://www.mindchallenger.com/inductionheater

Here is a youtube video showing it levitating copper and iron while heating it to the boiling point.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=intDuSJ2_PA


cr0sh

Alright - that was interesting, and obviously a complex project. Is there a practical aspect to it? I mean, could you use your device for anything but melting small bits of metal? Does it have metal working possibilities (ie, could it replace a gas/charcoal forge)?

I'm really curious; some kid on Electro-Tech was working on one of these devices (isn't you, is it?) - I don't know what or how far he got with his project, but he seemed to understand what to do...

I am just curious what, if anything, that such a project could be useful for in a shop, say? Or is it of the same thing as "quarter shrinkers" and "tesla coils"; ie - a project done to show it can be done (oh, and the "cool look what I built factor" - can't discount that); the "power" of it, etc.

I'm not knocking it, BTW - just wondering what, if anything, it could be applied to... (I'm sure there's something - btw; did that nut fuse to the ceramic? That alone might be useful...).

Hmm - now that I think about it, if you had a ceramic mold, you could put metal powder inside and cast items in that manner, or fuse the metal into a part...hmm...

:)
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copiertalk

Thats pretty cool!  :)

What kind of a dent does that put on your electric bill?

Are you really running it off an orange extention cord? ;D

RuggedCircuits

Amazing project, and very thorough writeup. There's enough information there for several courses on electronics.

Somehow, putting together a 10kW heater and an Arduino reminds me of a fly on a mountain.

--
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retrolefty

I have a rule not to build anything that requires water cooling.  ;)

imsmooth

Induction heating does have industrial applications.  It is used for forging and melting metals for casting.  It can be used for brazing and treating metals.  All of this can be done without the need for heating a furnace for hours, heating the metal for hours, and then cooling everything down.

With regards to the cord, the orange cord is for the driver which uses 120vac.  The high voltage for the inverter is 240vac and runs through a 30A, 10g line.  If I wanted to run at more power I would need a larger breaker.

cr0sh

Quote
Induction heating does have industrial applications.  It is used for forging and melting metals for casting.  It can be used for brazing and treating metals.  All of this can be done without the need for heating a furnace for hours, heating the metal for hours, and then cooling everything down.


I understand that - what I am more curious on is whether this small scale version has any practical uses in a home shop beyond "show-n-tell"?

:)
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frostin

@ cr0sh
yes it has it's uses I want to buy my forge, anvil back from a friend...
You can use it to cast items in a mold. I'd see it making forks to use to eat. Aluminum has a low melting point. Lead would come in to use also. In fact you could cast bullets for primitive firearms.

cr0sh

Quote
You can use it to cast items in a mold.


That was something I had thought about, but the size of the coil makes me wonder if you could make a mold out of easy to obtain materials (non-ceramic) that could withstand the heat, but still fit inside the small coil.

It would be kinda need to cast your own small pulleys and gears, for instance.

But if you couldn't make a mold that small, or it couldn't withstand the heat and pressure, or it couldn't be reused - it doesn't seem to be practical.

From what I have seen of metal casting online - the molds that are used for such operations for even fairly small objects, tend to be much larger than what that coil can hold. I suppose you can increase the coil size, but at a certain point wouldn't you need more current/voltage to melt the metal, since it is potentially further from the coil? At a certain point, it would stop being "home shop" sized, and start moving into the industrial category, I would think...

:)
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frostin

I'd have the coil on the bottom of the pot sealed off with some high temp cement. I'd make one but no funds :p

imsmooth

#10
Aug 20, 2010, 06:16 am Last Edit: Aug 20, 2010, 06:19 am by imsmooth Reason: 1
cr0sh,

Here is a larger coil for heating a brick of iron for sword forging.  You could easily fit a large mold in here for some substantial metal melting.  This is 8kw of power, limited by my 30A line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUnAG3UEFAY&feature=search

If you search my other videos I should the levitation of aluminum as well as the boiling of copper in a ceramic cup.

macegr

The mold doesn't have to fit in the coil, casting usually takes place with molten metal being dumped into a mold rather than trying to melt the metal in situ.
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cr0sh

Quote
The mold doesn't have to fit in the coil, casting usually takes place with molten metal being dumped into a mold rather than trying to melt the metal in situ.


True, but "in-mold" casting sounds like something that might result in a better product, with less possibility of under-filling the mold, or having voids in the molded product, etc. Then again, I really have no clue...

:)
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

imsmooth

The ceramic cup was simply to see if I could melt the metal.  I have no desire to cast metal or pour it into molds.  I just wanted to see if I could do it, which I could.

As far as the forging goes, I have to see what my friend wants to do.  A professional unit is near $15k.  Mine is between 1 and 2 when you factor in the variac.  

macegr

Quote
True, but "in-mold" casting sounds like something that might result in a better product, with less possibility of under-filling the mold, or having voids in the molded product, etc. Then again, I really have no clue...


I'm not really sure how it would help with those problems, because if the exact right amount of metal is already inside the mold to fill the desired cavity, that means it's already in the correct shape.
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