Vacuum Arc Melter
The arc melter is a device which was custom made by TEK Specialties®. The arc melter uses an electric arc either to melt a metallic specimen or to TIG weld multiple specimens together. The melter consists of a vacuum chamber, a hearth, and a movable electrode, all of which are water-cooled. With a power supply capable of a maximum output of 1000 amps, there is no metal which the arc melter can not melt. The arc melter operates under a partial pressure of inert gas, usually argon, to avoid atmospheric contamination during melting. Since there is an accompanying vacuum system capable of pressures less than 10 mTorr, a simple procedure of evacuating and backfilling, with the inert gas, can en-sure the relative purity of the inert atmosphere. The arc melter allows CAMM to produce custom alloys, which have possibly never been produced before. Thus, there is no limitation on the composition of alloys which CAMM can produce and research. We also use the melter for vacuum casting, and are currently aiding in the research of bulk metallic glass, by melting the highly specific alloy and cast-ing it into plates.