A method to minimize oxidation of metal during melting processes is provided, the method comprising placing solid phase metal into a furnace environ-ment, transforming the solid-phase metal into molten metal phase having a molten metal surface, and creating a barrier between the surface and the environment. Also provided is a method for isolating the surface of molten metal from its environment, the method comprising confining the molten metal to a controlled atmos-phere, and imposing a floating substrate between the surface and the atmosphere.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGINS OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.