It’s been in my to-do list for a long time and now it’s getting built,the smelting foundry.
After spending couple nights searching the interwebs for resources on the subject I was ready to start on my own.
so here I present to you,the design plans and the build log.
Foundry (so far):
5 boxes of Firebricks (20 per box)……………….I had a very good price at 2$/brick
6 Bags of ULTRATEK 60 3000F Cement…….40$/Bag
14’X4′ of 1/4″ thick ceramic blanket…………….3.90$/sq. feet
2 Brand new oil barrels……………………………..Freebie
Some scrap metal for the cover
Delavan 17147 Oil Siphon + 1gph Nozzle……..87$ on ebay
Numerous fittings and piping………………………108$
Air pressure regulator…………………………………Freebie
An oil barrel is used as housing and refractory materials are added in to form the foundry.
Ceramic blanket is used to shield the barrel from the heat. ( the circular one is inside the part at the far right,it’s cast in for drawing purposes)
A baseplate of firebricks is placed at the bottom to provide sufficient shielding and stiffness.
3 Layers of angle-cut firebricks are then placed in and are held by their shape and some pushing force is applied.
A 14 inch wide casting tube is inserted in the middle and the refractory concrete is cast to form a 1.5inch thick inside wall and also fills the gaps everywhere else.
A 2 inch of concrete covers it all.
(the burner hole isn’t showed on this picture,same with all the fittings and pipping.)
From the sizing of things and the general dimensions I got planned, we’re talking about a single pour of 150lbs of molten aluminum every 45min or so and a max safe temperature of 1648 degrees C (3000F) which means
that other metals could join the fun after the fine tuning is done.
1-Cutting one of the barrel open and filing the edge so it’s smooth and safe.
2-Cutting the bottom circle and the sides of the foundry out of ceramic blanket and fitting it inside the barrel.
3-Preparing the Firebrick floor and fitting it inside the barrel
4-Cutting the firebricks at 12 degree angle to fit them inside in a circular manner.
At this point,the “body” of the furnace is pretty much done. I forgot to take pictures of the concrete casting (I was a bit shorthanded) but it’s pretty simple.
A 2 inch thick layer of ULTRATEK60 has been poured slowly at the bottom to form the “baseplate” on which the crucible is going to stand.
Here’s a short video of the bricks getting placed in.
The cover is built with a section of a the second oil drum cut to size and lined the same way with refractory materials.
First a layer of ceramic blanket is applied all around,then firebricks are cut to size and adjusted in then,since they are going to be facing downward, a couple of metal
parts are welded on top to provide grip for the concrete filling and to support everything. A plastic cylinder is used in the center to keep the feed port open. (where ingot are
getting placed in without removing the cover).
That’s it for now.
Next weekend I’m gonna cast the remaining 4 bags of concrete in the foundry and drill some holes.
Also,the burner is going to get finished and I’m gonna tackle the oil feeding system cause yes, this whole contraption is going to work with some propane for firing up and then switch to heated used engine oil fed through the Delavan specialty atomizer.
Plans and more detailed drawings/pics can be added if you guys require,just post in the comments.
Also,finding refractory materials ain’t an easy job and so I’ll be happy to share my the info of the shop where I bought all this in Montreal,Qc. as soon as I find back their business card =P.
Thanks for your time.Cya next week.