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Патент USA US2406147

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Aug. 20, 1946.
2,406,147
R. K. HOPKINS‘
V APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING METAL
Filed May 9, 1944
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Patented Aug. 20, 1946
2,495,147
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,406,147
APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING METAL
Robert K. Hopkins, New York, N. Y., assignor to
The M. W. Kellogg Company, New York, N. Y.,
a corporation of Delaware
Application May 9, 1944, Serial No. 534,828
4 Claims.
(01. 13-10)
1
2
The present invention relates to improvements
in the construction of vessels for holding molten
metal, and more particularly to improvements in
the construction of metallurgical vessels of the
type having discharge ori?ces. In its broader as
pects, the term “metallurgical vessels” is intended
to apply to any vessel adapted to hold molten
metal. In accordance with certain aspects of the
pletely shut off ?ow of liquid from said vessel.
streamed, if the ori?ce should become fouled,
eroded or otherwise impaired for use, pouring
must be stopped, and the metallurgical processes
embodying the features of the present inventiton.
Referring to the drawing, the apparatus of the
In this manner, an easy and eiTective expedient is
provided for controlling flow of the molten metal
from the vessel without the use of valves or stop
pers.
As another feature of the present invention,
means for producing and/or heating the metal in
the vessel are arranged and constructed to con
tinue their operation without interruption irre
invention, such a vessel may, for example, consist
of a furnace crucible in which metal is produced, 10 spective of the rotative position of said vessel.
Various other objects, features and advantages
re?ned or otherwise metallurgically treated, or
of the invention will be apparent from the follow
may consist merely of a receptacle for transfer
ing particular description, and from an inspec
ring molten metal from a furnace to a mold.
tion of the accompanying drawing, which shows
In the usual metallurgical vessel, such as the
conventional crucible furnace having a discharge 15 somewhat diagrammatically partly in vertical sec
tion and partly in side elevation an apparatus
ori?ce through which the molten metal is
present invention comprises a metallurgical ves
being carried out interrupted until the ori?ce 20 sel 18 adapted to contain molten metal Ii, such
as ferrous metal, and shown speci?cally as a cup
structure has been repaired or replaced.
One object of the present invention is to pro
shaped crucible furnace of circular cross-section.
This vessel id is shown comprising an outer metal
sheil l2 with an inner refractory lining !3, but
vide a new and improved metallurgical vessel con
structed to permit continuous pouring of metal
therefrom and continuous Operation of any 25 as far as certain aspects of the invention are con
cerned, said vessel may be made entirely of metal
metallurgical process which may be progressing
such as copper, and may be provided with a jacket
in said vessel, even though its pouring ori?ce
to permit liquidcooling of the vessel.
structure should be impaired beyond utility.
As a feature of the present invention, the vessel
In carrying out certain features of the present
invention, the metallurgical vessel in the form of 30 in is tilted along an inclined axis A, and is mount
ed for rotary discharge emplacement. For that
a cup-shaped crucible is mounted on an inclined
purpose, the vessel i ii is ?xed at its bottom end to
axis and is provided with at least two duplicate
an inclined shaft M which extends along the axis
ori?ce structures or devices interspaced around
A, and which is suitably journalled. Any suitable
said vessel, and arranged in a plane substantially
at right angles to said axis. The vessel is rotat in) means may be provided for rotating the shaft M.
In the speci?c form shown, a worm wheel l5 ?xed
able about this axis, and when said vessel is in
to the shaft I4 meshes with a worm i6 driven by a
pouring position with respect to one of the ori?ce
hand crank or by a motor (not shown).
structures, the other ori?ce structure is disposed
L
l
The vessel 59 is provided with a plurality of
above the horizontal level of the ?uid in said ves
duplicate discharge ori?ce struc
sel and out of pouring position. When the lower 40 equally
tures or devices ii, two being shown disposed on
active ori?ce structure requires to be replaced or
diametrically opposite sides of said vessel, and
repaired, the vessel is rotated about its inclined
extending in a plane substantially at right angles
axis, to move said ori?ce structure out of pouring
to the axis A. Each of these ori?ce structures ll
position and the upper inactive ori?ce structure
into pouring position. This transition from one 45 comprises a tapering opening it; in the wall of
the vessel iii, and a nozzle or spout 2d of suitable
ori?ce structure to the other can be quickly ef
heat-resistant material, seated against the re
fected with minimum of pouring interruption.
fractory lining l3
h its apertlu'e in registry
While the damaged ori?ce structure is in elevated
with the wall opening iii.
spout 29 is de
inactive position, it can be repaired Or replaced
without interfering with the pouring through the ' sirablv removably ‘ mounted to permit its easy
replacement. For that purpose, the spout 29
other ori?ce structure. By rotating the vessel into
has a base section ‘it affording a shoulder 22
a position intermediate of the extreme pouring
which is clampingly engaged at its diametrically
positions of the two ori?ce structures, it is pos
opposite sides by a pair of metal holding dogs
sible to raise both of said structures above the
level of the liquid in the vessel, and thereby com
23, secured to the shell ['2 of the vessel Ill by
'
2,406,147
4
3
studs 24. By loosening studs 26, the dogs 23 may
be swung out of holding engagement with the
spout 20, and said spout removed for replace
ment, for repair or for cleaning.
The molten metal H in the vessel H3 is de
sirably maintained under a floating blanket of
flux or slag 26 having the usual metallurgical
function, such as that of re?ning the metal
electrical connection to the electrode 30 may be
established, as for example through a contact
nozzle 32 connected to a suitable source 33 of
electric current through a power feed and con
trol unit 34, and embracing said electrode with
a snug slide ?t loose enough to permit the feed
ing of said electrode through said nozzle, but
tight enough to maintain contact between said
nozzle and said electrode. The electrical con
and/or conserving its heat. This ?ux 26 may be
of any well-known composition suitable for per 10 nection of the deposited metal H into the circuit
forming this function.
During normal pouring operations, the metal
' of the contact nozzle 32 may be eifected, as for
example, through a lead 36 connected into the
power feed and control unit 34.
H in the vessel [9 is maintained at a level above
The electrode 30 may be lowered into the vessel
the lowermost position of either one of the dis
charge openings id, as shown in the drawing. 15 H3, or may be raised from said vessel by any
suitable means. In the speci?c form shown, the
In this position of the discharge openings E8, the
electrode 30 is supported through a clamp 38 on
molten metal l i will ?ow through the lowermost
a hoist 31 which may be elevationally moved
opening and through its spout Zil as shown, while
through a pair of feed screws 39 adapted to be
the other opening it is in elevated position above
the level of the slag it. While the upper ori?ce 20 rotated in unison through a hand or motor unit
(not shown).
structure ii is inactive, it may be replaced,
The electrode 3!! extends substantially vertii
repaired or cleaned so that it can be made ready
cally as shown, and is desirably arranged so that
for immediate use. In the meantime, the metal
its lower end is approximately near or at the
H may be teeming through the lower active
spout 2e into a suitable mold 2'4’, such as an ingot 25 axis A. With this arrangement, the vessel Ill can
be rotated without interfering with the metal
mold.
In extreme pouring
the elevated inactive
well as a substantial
lining it around said
position of the vessel ii],
discharge opening E3 as
portion of the refractory
opening is disposed above
the slag 26. This permits the refractory lining
It to be patched up around the elevated dis
charge opening lii, in case such repair work is
required.
producing operation of the electrode 30, and with
out substantially altering the position of the lower
end of said electrode relative to the sides of the
‘ vessel.
As the molten metal is continuously being dis
charged from the vessel Ii] at a certain rate
through one of the orifice structures ll, metal is
continuously being produced in said vessel at sub
When it is necessary to clean, replace or repair 35 stantially the same rate. As the electrode is con
sumed, it is fed lengthwise into the metal fusing
the lower active ori?ce structure ill, the vessel
zone at a rate controlled to maintain the level of
in’! is rotated about its inclined axis A, so that
the molten metal l i in the vessel Ill substantially
this ori?ce structure is raised above the level of
the slag 25 out of pouring position, while the
constant. This controlled movement of the elec
other conditioned ori?ce structure ll’ is lowered 40 trode 39 may be eifected in any suitable manner,
as for example through a pair of feed rolls 40
into pouring position. This rotary transition of
mounted on the hoist 37 and disposed on opposite
the vessel ill between. the two extreme positions
sides of the electrode 39 in frictional engage
of the ori?ce structures H can be eifected with
minimum of pouring interruptions.
ment therewith. At least one of these feed wheels
MI is driven from a motor 4!, while the other
When it is desired to shut oif the ?ow of metal,
wheel may be positively driven from said motor
the vessel NJ is rotated in intermediate position
or may be merely an idler serving as a guide for
between its two extreme pouring positions. In
the electrode 30. The electrode 30 may be formed
this intermediate position, the two ori?ce struc
continuously and progressively from skelp as it is
tures I‘! will be disposed in horizontal alignment
being fusibly fed into the Vessel l 9.
above the level of the slag 26 in approximate
To control the feeding movement of the elec
position B shown in dot and dash lines. In this
trode 38, there is desirably provided a non-con
manner, an easy and expeditious expedient is
sumable pilot electrode 45, disposed alongside of
ailorded for cutting off or turning on the metal
flow without the use of valves or stoppers.
said electrode, and having its lower end sub
The vessel It) desirably constitutes a furnace -'
in which the metal is continuously produced as
it is being discharged into a mold. As an addi
tional feature of the present invention, the metal
producing means is constructed and arranged to
merged in the slag 2%. This pilot electrode 45,
disposed alongside of said electrode, and having
its lower end submerged in the slag 26. This pilot
electrode 135, which is supported on the hoist 31,
as for example by the clamp 38, may be made of
operate continuously without interruption, even 60 high heat conductive metal such as copper, and
may be formed with chambers through which a
while the vessel H1 is being rotated between its
two extreme operating positions. This metal
cooling liquid is circulated by means of inlet and
producing means desirably comprises one or
outlet connections A5 and 47. Pilot electrode 45
is connected by a lead 48 to the control unit 34,
more consumable electrodes 39, one being shown,
containing at least some of the ingredients of 65 and controls the feed movement of the electrode
30, as for example, by the voltage drop across
the metal to be produced, and having its lower
the gap separating said pilot electrode from the
end submerged in the slag 26. Electrode 3i! may
metal H in the vessel ill. The electrode feed
be of the kind and character shown and described
motor rll is connected to the control unit 34 by
in my prior Patent No. 2,191,479, issued February
the leads 49, and when the pilot electrode gap
27, 1940. Current of su?icient intensity is dis
changes in length from a predetermined value,
charged across this gap 3l to create a metal
fusing zone in and around said gap. To create
this control unit M in response to this change
this metal fusing current discharge across the
operates said feed motor correspondingly, and
gap 3|, the electrode 36 and the metal H are
thereby causes the electrode til to be fed at a
electrically connected in the same circuit. The
rate necessary to maintain the level of the metal
2,406,147
6
i l substantially constant. The details of the con
trol unit 34 and the manner in which it controls
the feed of the electrode 30 are not per se part
of the present invention, and since they are well
known in the art, they are not herein described
with any particularity.
In order to maintain the metal H near and
around the actual discharge opening “3 sum
ciently ?uid to flow freely, there is desirably pro
vided a non-consumable upright electrode 50 sub
merged at its lower end in the slag 26, and dis
posed directly about this opening. This heatingr
electrode as may be of hollow copper construction
chambered for the circulation of a cooling me
dium therethrough, as in the case of the pilot
electrode 45, and is supported on the hoist 31, as
for example a clamp 5!. A lead 52 connects the
heating electrode 58 to the power feed and control
unit 3%. By maintaining a current discharge
ing two duplicate discharge openings, a heating
electrode in said vessel, and means for rotating
said vessel to bring either one of said openings
into pouring position below said, electrode while
moving the other opening out of pouring position.
2. A metallurgical vessel supported for rotation
about an inclined axis, and having two discharge
openings diametrically opposed with respect to
said axis whereby one of said openings Will be in
pouring position below the level of the molten
metal in said vessel, while the other discharge
opening will be above the top level of the fluid in
said vessel.
3. In combination, a metallurgical vessel sup
ported for rotation about an inclined axis, and
having two discharge openings substantially in
a plane transverse to said axis, said openings
being arranged whereby one of said openings will
be in pouring position below the level of the
across the gap separating the electrode 59 from 20 molten metal in said vessel, while the other dis
charge opening will be above the top level of the
the metal H, freezing of the metal in the active
discharge opening I8 is prevented, and free flow
molten content of said vessel, and a heating elec
therethrough continuously maintained. The cur
trode in said vessel above one of said openings in
its pouring position.
rent discharge from or to this electrode 50 can
be controlled automatically by the temperature
ll. In combination, a crucible furnace supported
of the metal near or at the active discharge open
for rotation about an inclined axis, and having
two discharge openings diametrically opposed
ing ‘:‘3.
with respect to said axis, whereby one of said
It should be noted that the three electrodes
openings will be in pouring position below the
30, 45, and 50 are so supported and positioned as
to maintain their relative position with respect
level of the molten metal in said furnace, while
to the sides of the vessel 10, irrespective of the I the other discharge opening will be above the top
rotat'fve position of said vessel, and that the heat
level of the molten content of said furnace, ori?ce
ing electrode 50 will remain directly above either
devices removably connected to said furnace ad
one of the discharge openings l3 in either ex
jacent to and in registry with said openings re
treine relative position of said vessel.
. spectively, whereby said devices may be removed
As many changes can be made in the above
for repair or replacement while their correspond
apparatus, and many apparently widely different
ing discharging openings are out of pouring posi
embodiments of this invention can be made with
tion, electrode means for continuously producing
out departing from the scope of the claims, it is
metal in said furnace while metal is being dis
intended that all matter contained in the above 40 charged therefrom through one of said openings,
description or shown in the accompanying draw
and a heating electrode in said furnace above
ing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in
one of said openings in its pouring position.
a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a metallurgical vessel hav
ROBERT K. HOPKINS.
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