Air Products offers industrial gases and expertise for a wide range of inerting, stirring, and refining applications used to produce non-ferrous metals. During some melting operations, inert gases can be injected into the melt to achieve a variety of benefits. For instance, nitrogen, often in conjunction with chlorine, can be used to degas or drive dissolved gases out of the melt, eliminating porosity and inclusions. Argon can be substituted for high performance applications.
In other non-ferrous melting operations, reactive gases such as oxygen or oxygen-enriched air are used to oxidize impurities as metals are refined. Hydrogen, often blended with nitrogen, can also be used to reduce oxidized metals such as copper.
In addition, inert gases can be used to effectively stir during melting, improving both chemical homogeneity and melt rates. Gas stirring helps conduct heat more efficiently throughout the metal bath, similar to how molten metal pumps are used to improve melting efficiency in reverb furnaces.