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methods to be explained later. In the open-hearth furnace, when consecutive heats are being run to the same analysis and same conditions, a certain difference of temperature between the steel and the slag may be assumed, but this is not very reliable.

The principal objection, however, in the use of radiation pyrometers is the difficulty of always being able to focus through a clear atmosphere and onto a clean stream of steel. In actual practice, it is found that smoky atmospheres and incandescent gases are constantly interfering, while in many furnaces the slag comes out of the teeming spout along with the steel and it is very difficult to know which of the readings recorded represent true conditions, or the same conditions as on the previous heat. There is also a tendency on the part of the observer to record the highest reading on the instrument and interference of a small amount of incandescent gas can escape notice. The following readings are typical of many tests made of a stream of steel leaving the nozzle of a ladle when pouring castings of easy section of about 30 to 100 pounds in weight and 0.25 to 0.35 per cent carbon, by the same instrument and the same observer, the resulting castings being of first class quality. Heat No. 7

HEAT No. 23 Mold Degrees Degrees Mold Degrees Degrees Cent. Fahr.


Fahr. 1 1510 2750


2790 2 1560 2840 2









2870 It is obvious that the readings on the fourth mold of heat No. 7 and the third of heat No. 23 were decidedly off, although every care was taken on both these heats to get uniform conditions and the error is undoubtedly due to incandescent gases and smoky atmosphere. Results both better and worse were obtained, and these are given as typical when every care was taken.


Practically the same limitations are noticed with optical pyrometers as with the fixed focus radiation type, the added disadvantage being that with every type of optical instrument there is more of the personal element brought in by the matching of intensities or the matching of colors. On the other hand, they are not so liable to damage by the too close proximity to the molten metal, as an observer has less fear of sticking a long tube up to the stream than of bringing his face too near.

Of the practical methods known, the film, rod and pouring tests are in constant use at various electric furnace plants, and they are all depending upon uniform conditions existing when each test is made. The use of the film test originated from the crucible steel practice, it being the best practice in making tool steels to first close all the melting shop doors; then to pull the pots after the required stewing and remove the lid and slag; make ary additions and then carefully watch the bright surface of the steel for the first sign of an oxide film forming, this being the sign to commence pouring operations. In the absence oi drafts, this served as a fairly reliable temperature indicator, as the crucibles and the mass of steel were usually the same, while the varying composition of the steel could be allowed for by pouring as soon as the first speck appeared, or so many seconds later. In electric furnace practice, this consists of using a steel spoon of uniform capacity, dried out thoroughly over the bath, and giving this a total covering of slag in the furnace. A sample of steel should then be taken, which fairly represents the whole bath remembering that when a door has been left open for some time the steel near the door has become chilled, and with steel made in an electric furnace where all the heat is applied at the top only, the temperature of the steel directly under the slag is higher than the temperature of the steel near the bottom. Where this is the case, the bath must be thoroughly rabbled before any sample is withdrawn, and even then the sample should be taken at a place equidistant between the electrodes and half way down the bath, so as to arrive at an average temperature. The measurement of the temperature is then indicated by the length of time it takes for an oxide film to completely cover the sample after the sample is taken from the bath. This method is also influenced by the composition and physical condition of the bath, as for molten steels of the same temperature this time varies, principally with the carbon contents, the silicon contents, other alloy contents and the state of deoxidization. Therefore, final comparisons must only be made between steels of approximately the same composition and when the furnace is ready to pour. Care must be taken to keep the sample away from drafts and to have about the same amount of steel in the spoon each time. To show the range of this test it has been noted that first class high-speed steel ingots of a composition approximating carbon, 0.65; tungsten, 17.5; chromium, 3.75, and vanadium, 1 per cent, were produced when the film (with a later characteristic wrinkling of the surface) was formed directly the sample spoon came through the door, while good castings of about 0.25 carbon and weighing from 30 to 200 pounds were produced when the film took 60 seconds to form after passing the furnace door.

Factors Affccting Use of Rod Test The rod test has been used for many years as a rough indication of the temperature of many molten metals. The first publication noted by the author of this test being made a standard practice under uniform conditions was from a large Italian steel works. This test requires the use of rods of steel of both uniform diameter and fairly uniform composition, and consist of plunging the rod into the bath of steel and gently moving it through the bath for a uniform length of time. If the steel is cold there is a deposit of the bath on the rod, if the steel is hot the bath melts away or bites into some of the rod, with all intermediate conditions indicating varying temperatures. The skin of the bar, it will be noted, has an effect on this test; a newly rolled bar with a bright scaly surface tends to show a colder bath than is actually the case. The bar before being plunged into the bath should be of uniform temperature and in some steel works this is taken care of by bending about 12 inches or more of the end of the bar at right angles; holding the bar with the bend in a horizontal plane over the bath until it shows the first sign of sagging and then turning the end of the bar into the bath. This test again depends on the physical condition and the composition of the bath. This test is also very useful for testing the difference in temperature between the top of the bath and the bottom of the bath and is one of the best indications of the value in electric furnaces of the bottom heating type. Several tests were carried out on a furnace of the GreavesEtchells type and not a single test showed any indication of marked difference in temperature between the top and the bottom of the bath and in every case it was shown that in a furnace of this type there is no need for any mechanical stirring of the bath. Considering the crudeness of this test and the fact that the rod had to be passed through a slag, the uniform effect of the bath on the bars were quite remarkable, both for baths that were relatively cold and hot.

Temperature is Indicated by Fluidity of Metal

The pouring test consists of using a spherical spoon of above 5 inches diameter and carefully slagging up this spoon over the bath. Dip the spoon quickly into the metal so as to get a sample of the steel from about the center of the bath. Withdraw the sample and carefully pour out the steel over the lip of the spoon at a slow even rate. The temperature of the steel is noted by its fuidity, and by the amount of steel skull that is left on the spoon.

This test is the one most commonly used in steel foundries. It is simple and the very nature of the test gives confidence to the man who is responsible for pouring the heat. If he sees every drop of the steel pouring nicely over the lip he feels that in pouring from the ladle itself the castings of small section will fill up and there will be no skulls left in the ladle. This test is subject to the spoon being properly slagged up, the rate of pouring the sample, and absence of drafts.

For all these practical methods too much emphasis cannot be placed upon the fact that they are all comparative tests only, and that they depend entirely upon uniform conclitions, and attention to details. In all cases at least two of these methods should be employed. They do not of course indicate to the melter the temperature of the steel in degrees, Cent, or Fahr., but they do give him a very good indication of the degrees of temperature that the steel is either above or below the temperatures which will give him the best results for the composition of the steel he is handling, for the weight and for the type of casting he is making. In making steel castings it is important that the foundry foreman or superintendent be present when the final temperature tests are being made. He is in a much better position to know how hot the steel must be to suit the castings on the floor. To tell the melter that the castings are averaging 30 pounds and then to leave the decision regarding the temperature up to him, is not sufficient.

The question most frequently asked while trying out the above tests was: "How accurately can you measure the temperature of the steel and what temperature should the steel be when it leaves the furnace to give the best results?” The first part of the questions refers to the use of the pyrometers. On steel works where the best conditions for the pyrometer can be obtained, there is still the limitations of the pyrometers themselves. As already explained, only the optical and the radiation type offer a good field for these high temperatures and conditions, and there is little doubt that an error of plus and minus 50 degrees Fahr. in the instrument itself is all that we can ever expect. To an investigator first starting in with a new instrument he has just bought, this may not sound very encouraging as he naturally feels that if the steel proves to be 50 to 100 degrees Fahr. less than what he is aiming for he will spoil some of his castings. The other limitations of focusing and atmosphere have already been described and values given.

Determining Best Temperatures Probably the best reply to the second part of the question is that the temperature in question is that at which the

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