The MPC specializes in the preparation, purification, and fabrication of high-purity rare earth metals, refractory metals, alkaline earth metals, and alloys in single and polycrystalline forms.
|Arc Casting. The interior of an arc casting furnace is shown. Arc casting has been employed for many years at ISU and Ames Laboratory, for preparing alloys and inter-metallic compounds for materials research. The molten metal in the center is zirconium, #40 on the periodic table. It has a melting point of 3,371°F (1,855°C). It is held on a copper hearth, copper melts at 1,984°F (1,085°C)! Why doesn't the Zr melt through the Cu? Answer: copper has a very high thermal conductivity. The Cu mold is water cooled from below which keeps the Cu from melting.|
Utilizing a core staff consisting of three research scientists and three technicians, this section prepares unique materials with a variety of techniques. Facilities exist for the preparation and purification of metals and alloys including:
- Distillation and electrotransport purification
- Non-consumable and consumable arc casting (view video)
- Several configurations of induction and resistance furnaces with controlled atmosphere capabilities including chill casting.
- Special alloy ingots preparations from several grams to 25 kg can be prepared under controlled conditions to maintain purity and compositional control. Fabrication equipment includes:
- 100-ton 12" rolling mill (rod and flat rolling)
- 6" rolling mill
- 5 rotary die swaging machines (1" - 0.014")
- 12.5-ton 10' and 1.2-ton 8' hydraulic wire drawing benches
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