Description: Accurate control of the electrode gap in a vacuum arc remelting (VAR) furnace has been a goal of melters for many years. The size of the electrode gap has a direct influence on ingot solidification structure. At the high melting currents (30 to 40 kA) typically used for VAR of segregation insensitive Ti and Zr alloys, process voltage is used as an indicator of electrode gap, whereas drip-short frequency (or period) is usually used at the lower currents (5 to 8 kA) employed during VAR of superalloys. Modem controllers adjust electrode position or drive velocity to maintain a voltage or drip-short frequency (or period) set-point. Because these responses are non-linear functions of electrode gap and melting current, these controllers have a limited range for which the feedback gains are valid. Models are available that relate process voltage and drip-short frequency to electrode gap. These relationships may be used to linearize the controller feedback signal. An estimate of electrode gap may then be obtained by forming a weighted sum of the independent gap estimates obtained from the voltage and drip-short signals. By using multiple independent measures to estimate the gap, a controller that is less susceptible to process disturbances can be developed. Such a controller was designed, built and tested. The tests were carried out at Allvac Corporation during VAR of 12Cr steel at intermediate current levels.
Date: January 14, 1999
Creator: Beaman, J.J.; Hysinger, C.L.; Melgaard, D.K. & Williamson, R.L.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department