An electric arc furnace
) is a furnace
that heats charged material by means of an electric arc
Arc furnaces range in size from small units of approximately one ton
capacity (used in foundries
for producing cast iron
products) up to about 400 ton units used for secondary steelmaking
. Arc furnaces used in research laboratories and by dentists
may have a capacity of only a few dozen grams. Industrial electric arc furnace temperatures can be up to 1,800 degrees Celsius
, while laboratory units can exceed 3,000 °C. Arc furnaces differ from induction furnaces
in that the charge material is directly exposed to an electric arc, and the current in the furnace terminals passes through the charged material.
In the 19th century, a number of men had employed an electric arc to melt iron
. Sir Humphry Davy
conducted an experimental demonstration in 1810; welding was investigated by Pepys in 1815; Pinchon attempted to create an electrothermic furnace in 1853; and, in 1878–79, Sir William Siemens
took out patents
for electric furnaces of the arc type.
The first electric arc furnaces were developed by Paul Héroult
, of France
, with a commercial plant established in the United States
in 1907. The Sanderson brothers formed The Sanderson Brothers steel Co. in Syracuse, New York, installing the first electric arc furnace
in the U.S. This furnace is now on display at Station Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Initially "electric steel" was a... Read More