Microwave Melting of Metals

Mv1000 Paul writes “DIY benchtop metal casting. Finally. I was doing some research on liquid-metal-cooled CPUs and video cards when I stumbled upon this gem: With the right susceptor/mold materials, you can cast your own bronze, silver, and potentially ferrous metals in a common microwave. A terrific compliment to aforementioned 3D scanners and 3D printers… Or maybe just a great way to save some money by making your own jewelry”. Link.

note from david…

“It is true Y-12 were granted US patent 7011136 for melting metal in a microwave chamber. Their filing date was November 12, 2001. However, this does not predate my article “Melting metals in a microwave” which was first uploaded to the public domain on April 11, 1997. Y-12 were, in fact, forced to cite my article in their patent to gain B2 status. David Reid”

8 thoughts on “Microwave Melting of Metals

  1. Unfortunately, Mr Reid is not the inventor of melting metal in a microwave. This was accomplished at DOE’s Y-12 facility in TN by several researchers. The technology was patented and licensed by a couple of companies trying to commercialize it.

  2. Unfortunately, Mr Reid is not the inventor of melting metal in a microwave. This was accomplished at DOE’s Y-12 facility in TN by several researchers. The technology was patented and licensed by a couple of companies trying to commercialize it.

  3. Melting metal in a microwave isn’t patentable.. but their process is :-) Anyhoo, although this is many years later, I don’t see a lot of work on this.. hasn’t anyone figured out the induction/microwave link? That once a metal reaches its curie point (or, to be more certain, its Neel temperature), it might become an absorber (of the magnetic component of the wave)? This would also explain the very uneven results with different metals, given their different resonant frequencies, as they become hotter and pass through transition states… in a regular microwave, it is a fixed frequency. If true, that would mean all one would have to do to heat metal would be to heat up some part of the metal to its curie point or Neel temperature and then switch on the microwave. This could be accomplished with an oxy/hydrogen torch on small/thin samples. Clearly, lots of varying results could/would occur, and this is a lot more complicated than cooking a burrito.. however that’s the basic idea. Longer term, having a microwave whose frequency can be controlled would be useful, and could yield even more interesting results.

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