Posted on: 19 May 2017
If you're about to start training to work with foundries, metalworking, and crucibles, you're moving into an area that is highly skilled but also highly dangerous due to the high temperatures and, of course, molten metal. You know you need safety clothing, you know the equipment has to be correct, but keeping yourself and your co-workers safe goes beyond that. This is a field in which erring on the side of caution isn't just a platitude; it's a necessity.
You Can't Overdo the Safety Clothing
If your teacher or employer offers you additional pieces of safety gear, use them. Longer gloves, hoods, full face shield -- if you have the option to wear them, take it. You want to protect yourself against sparks and spills, not to mention the intense heat. If others in the facility are wearing the minimum amount of safety gear, you can decide whether to do the same thing as you learn more about the process and get used to handling the equipment. Until then, though, you can't overdo it when it comes to safety clothing and accessories.
Always Coordinate Liners and Projects and Look for Wear
What you're melting in a crucible can interact with liners in ways that increase the risk of an accident. Always ensure the liner you use can withstand the heat needed to melt the material in the crucible. Also, ensure that the liner is in good shape; it should have no cracks or other signs of damage. If the liner is damaged, the molten material can seep into the cracks, causing the liner to eventually fail and allowing the molten material to further damage the main crucible container and the induction coils inside. (This is known as a metal runout, and it is serious -- you do not ever want a runout to occur.)
Remember Heat Resistance
Crucibles and liners are formulated to withstand up to certain temperatures. Always be aware of what you need to melt and what temperatures it will require for melting, and choose a crucible and liner accordingly. For example, if you have to melt something that requires extremely hot temperatures, alumina (a type of aluminum oxide) or nickel might work. You also have to take size into account because metal overflowing a small crucible is an absolute recipe for disaster.
You may actually want to speak with crucible manufacturers before you start your training just to see what combinations they recommend and what safety gear they've seen fly out of the warehouse. When you know what people tend to use most, it can make the learning curve a lot easier. For more information, check out a company like Malcom G Stevens INC.Share