Heating options for hot bueing steel? Answered
After moving house I am still living in a big mess of boxes that need to be unpacked, kitchen stuff be sorted and and so on...
But with a big garage and proper workspace at hand it is also time to consider my options on how to create my tinker space.
I would like set up a small forge later on if the landlord gives permission and that means bot blueing steel again.
Which brings me to the problem of heating the nitrates :(
My last setup was not only on a different continent but also totally oversized and powered by three big gas burners.
This time I would like to go a bit smaller so I can use it inside the workshop.
Was thinking of a max of around 8kg of nitrates that need to be heated in a safe way to melting point.
Problem with that stuff is that it is not only highly corrosive but also requires quite some time and energy to melt.
Using gas on such a small scale seems far to dangerous uless I include baffle plates and add several safe guards, so I would like to avoid the open flame approach here.
Only reasonabe alternative that comes to my mind is electric heating.
Did some small test last night outside :(
Used a 2000W electric hotplate and an old stainless steel pot with about 1kg of nitrate in it.
After 40 minutes there was still no real melting happening despited the entire thing padded and covered in glass wool.
20 minutes later I turned it all off and once cooled I found that only about 1cm of solid nitrate was at the bottom.
If I would use a suitable container of let's say 20x10x10 cm as a small melting vessel:
Could it be sufficient to use a 2000W nichrome heating element (with temp controller of course) in an insulated, forge like setup to melt the nitrate ina reasonable amount of time and be able to keep it that way once the steel is dropped in?
Problem is the entire garage is already setup with power outlets and they all go to a single 10 amp breaker.
I could max it out with 2400W but for obvious reasons would prefer to have some juice left for lights and other uses.
If anyone here already made such a thing it would be great to hear how you solved the heating problem without waiting half a day for the stuff to melt.