Platinum is a chemical and naturally occurring element. The metal is characterized by high density, malleability, and ductility. The metal is highly unreactive and considered one of the precious metals in existence. In this post, we discuss platinum melting and the use of platinum melting furnaces.
The history of the platinum metal
The processing of platinum started in the early 1700s. Between 1710 and 1759, Henrik Theophil Scheffer successfully managed to melt platinum. However, he did this while platinum was in an impure state. At the time of this achievement, Henrik melted platinum combined with copper and arsenic, and the melting was done in a furnace.
A few years later, other scientists and researchers found success in platinum melting. Between 1784 and 1804, attempts were made to melt platinum in a crucible over a wood fire. However, these attempts were unsuccessful as they soon found out that the melting of platinum was not an easy task.
A few years later, other people made attempts to melt the metal using burning glasses. It was later discovered that the earlier success in melting the metal was only successful because impurities lowered the metal’s melting point. With time, more people found success in melting this metal product, and various methods were introduced.
What is the melting point of platinum?
The melting point of platinum in its pure state is 1772 degrees celsius. The metal features a much higher melting point than other precious metals like gold and silver. Its high resistance to heat is why there were years of unsuccessful attempts at melting this metal. It is also why this metal is commonly used to make products like car engines that are usually exposed to a lot of heat.
Methods of melting platinum
Below are some popular methods of melting this type of precious metal;
a. Torch melting
Torch melting is the most ancient method of melting methods. Regardless, the method is still applied in melting low quantities of platinum. It is not suitable for large amounts of metal because it cannot produce the amount of heat required for melting this type of metal.
b. Induction melting
For platinum, high-frequency induction generators are applied because of the metal’s high melting point. This method is applied in melting various kinds of metals like gold, aluminum, and copper.
Induction platinum melting involves the use of furnaces. It is the best and most applied method of melting platinum. There are two types of platinum melting furnaces; electric and gas furnaces. Electric platinum melting furnaces give even temperatures using different heat zones. The zones do not promote airflow required to have enhanced oxygen activity. On the other hand, gas furnaces support enhanced oxygen airflow. Gas furnaces are typically larger hence the reason why they are used in large workspaces.
Qualities of platinum melting furnaces
Platinum melting furnaces are highly applied because they are;
- Highly effective
- Reduce the amount of wastage
- Highly secure
- Small and lightweight
- Offer better temperature control
- Easy to use and maintain
Platinum melting allows manufacturers to use the metal for a wide range of purposes. Melting, couples with cast and molding methods, allows platinum to be used to make different parts with various shapes and applications. However, due to the high melting point of platinum, the process is very costly.