Effect of electropolishing on vacuum furnace design
Keywords: Thermal shields, etching, emissivity
AbstractThe use of thermal shields of materials having low emissivity in vacuum furnaces is well-known. However, the surface condition of the heat shields is one of the most important factors governing their efficiency as radiation resistances. The emissivity of the thermal shields dictates the power rating of the heaters in furnace design. The unpolished materials used in the heater tests showed poor performance leading to loss of a significant percentage of the input power. The present work deals with the refurbishment of the radiation heat shields used in a furnace for heating graphite structure. The effect of refurbishment of the heat shields by the buffing and subsequently electropolishing was found to improve the performance of the shields as heat reflectors. The composition of the electrolyte was chosen in such a way that the large shields of Mo, Inconel and SS can be polished using the same reagents in different ratios. The present work deals with the development of a standard electropolishing procedure for large metallic sheets and subsequently qualifying them by roughness and emissivity measurements. The improvement noted in the shielding efficiency of the furnace in the subsequent runs is also discussed here.
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