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Metals processing control by counting molten metal droplets

United States Patent

February 1, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Apparatus and method for controlling metals processing (e.g., ESR) by melting a metal ingot and counting molten metal droplets during melting. An approximate amount of metal in each droplet is determined, and a melt rate is computed therefrom. Impedance of the melting circuit is monitored, such as by calculating by root mean square a voltage and current of the circuit and dividing the calculated current into the calculated voltage. Analysis of the impedance signal is performed to look for a trace characteristic of formation of a molten metal droplet, such as by examining skew rate, curvature, or a higher moment.
Schlienger; Eric (Albuquerque, NM), Robertson; Joanna M. (Safford, AZ), Melgaard; David (Albuquerque, NM), Shelmidine; Gregory J. (Tijeras, NM), Van Den Avyle; James A. (Corrales, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 910,821
August 13, 1997
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The Government has rights to this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.