MORGAN ADVANCED MATERIALS: Thermocouple Assembly Solution
Blue Lightning saves labor time, according to the company, and its clay graphite construction delivers improved protection of metal purity over cast-iron thermocouple sheaths.
The Molten Metal Systems business of Morgan Advanced Materials has launched its Blue Lightning thermocouple sheath, which reportedly delivers a reliable, contamination-free reading within 5 min to help foundries avoid overheating metals and reduce energy wastage. Blue Lightning saves labor time, according to the company, and its clay graphite construction delivers improved protection of metal purity over cast-iron thermocouple sheaths. It is available as a full thermocouple assembly.
Consistent high temperatures are required in holding furnaces, where metals (notably aluminum) must be kept in a molten state prior to casting. Some foundries measure only the outer furnace temperature, while others do not measure the temperature at all. Either approach is inefficient, as operators tend to overestimate the temperature required and therefore spend more on energy. For a more accurate measurement, thermocouple sheaths are dipped into the molten metal. The material traditionally used for this purpose, cast iron, reportedly has its drawbacks compared to the clay graphite used in the manufacture of Blue Lightning.
“Cast iron will quickly degrade, meaning sheaths have to be replaced regularly,” said Mirco Pavoni, global technology director of Molten Metal Systems at Morgan Advanced Materials. “There is also the risk of cross-contamination of iron particles mixing with molten aluminum. To prevent this, iron thermocouple sheaths are coated with a protective material; a daily process that wastes valuable foundry labor time.”
Blue Lightning’s clay graphite construction is reportedly neutral and inert, eliminating the risk of contamination and protecting the purity of the molten metal. Clay graphite also offers exceptional thermal shock resistance, meaning that Blue Lightning lasts considerably longer than cast-iron sheaths and can withstand temperatures up to 2,192°F (1,200°C).
“Using Blue Lightning, an accurate reading can be achieved in just three to five minutes, faster than cast iron because of clay graphite’s superior conductive properties,” said Mirco. “This enables foundry operatives to adjust the temperature quickly, further reducing energy wastage.”
Two types of pyrometer are available to suit the specific foundry setup. “Blue Lightning is equally accurate whether used with a fixed pyrometer, which measures the temperature towards the bottom of the crucible, or a floating pyrometer for applications where foundries take their molten metal from near the top,” said Mirco.
For more information, visit www.morganmms.com.