The U.S. Bureau of Mines has developed a single-melt system to purify pressed-alloy-sponge electrodes and produce molten titanium alloy streams. Melting was done in a vacuum arc furnace under an inert gas atmosphere using a single, funnel-shaped, water-cooled copper anode. Melt parameters were varied to increase the super- heat and produce a stream of molten titanium alloy metal that could ultimately be fed to rotary atomizing equipment. Increasing the power to the arc from 36 to 150 kw produced a molten stream of titanium alloy metal, while a constant flow of helium gas removed volatile impurities. Both the chlorine and magnesium concentrations in the product were below 25 ppm, and aluminum and vanadium homogeneity matched that of commercial titanium alloy powder.
Gregogy J. Slavens, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Albany Research Center in Albany, Oregon
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