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Automatic Ladle / Crucible Heaters

Feb. 27, 2012
Integral radiant tubes heat vessels, reducing noise, emissions
VHE ladle heater shown in closed (top) and open (bottom) positions.

VHE manufactures a ladle heater that uses high-temperature FeCrNi-alloy wire elements mounted inside radiant tubes and rated at 80 kW to heat the vessel prior to filling. Ladles and crucibles must be heated before use to prevent chilling of the molten metal and to minimize thermal shock, which can crack the refractory lining. Noisy and polluting gas burners are often used for this purpose.

The VHE electric ladle heater is fully automatic. At the conclusion of the pouring or casting process a single push-button command sends the ladle first to a cleaning station and then to the heating station, where it is correctly located and the insulated heater lid lowered such that the radiant tubes are fully inserted into the ladle. Then, the heating cycle begins automatically.

Programmable thyristor controllers maintain correct temperature profiles, heating the ladle lining to 1,200°C. When the ladle is returned to service a single push-button command ends the heating cycle and delivers the ladle to the furnaces at the anode sealing station.

VHE’s ladle and crucible heaters offer precise temperature control and reduce or eliminate thermal shock. The elimination of noisy gas burners greatly improves workplace health and safety, and lowers energy use without greenhouse gas emission, contributing to environmental improvement.

Velaverkstaedi Hjalta Einarssonar (VHE) is a mechanical fabricator, offering a comprehensive range of design, manufacturing, and site services. VHE now provides all Stimir solutions to the primary aluminum industry, with particular focus on rodding plant. All aspects of design and fabrication are undertaken at VHE’s own facilities, ensuring total quality control and on-time delivery.