McGill Metals Processing Centre       







Induction Furnace:

The melting facilities include a 150 KW power and control unit (INDUCTOTHERM) capable of melting 300 lbs. of steel in a Vacuum Induction Furnace, and up to 600 lbs in air-melt facilities. Currently, five air melt furnaces can be used to melt charges of approx. 3, 25, 45, 135, and 280 kilograms of steel, respectively, or equivalent volumes of non-ferrous melts.

Electric Resistance and Direct Heating Furnaces:

These include a PYRADIA melting unit of 40 kg capacity, used for aluminium and its alloys, and a GLOBAR melting unit, of 20 kg capacity used for copper.  In addition, there are four other resistance furnaces used to heat or melt small quantities of metal. Two gas furnaces capable of melting 10 and 30 kg of aluminum per charge.

​Tubular Furnaces:

These include a Sentrotech, tubular furnace with maximum 4" O.D., and maximum heating temperature of 1700oC (MoS2 elements), with programmable controller, reducing atmosphere (H2, CO), and set up available for 3 and 4" O.D. tubes. 24" the length of the heated zone. In addition, we have a 4" O.D. resistive tubular furnace, with maximum operating temperature of 1200oC, with a rheostat controller, non programmable, and 10" the length of heated zone.

Strip Casting Facility

The MMPC, in collaboration with the Hazelett Corporation (USA) have installed and significantly upgraded a pilot scale Single-Belt Strip Caster donated to Dr Guthrie by BHP, Australia. It is now fitted with an in-line pinch roll/mini-mill, plus advanced control features. The horizontal single belt caster allows for a wide variety of studies associated with metal strip and thin slab casting operations. A wide variety of alloy systems can be studied, ranging from copper alloys, low carbon steel, ferroalloys and lower melting range alloy systems based on crystalline metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and bulk amorphous alloys as well. The effect of metal delivery system, belt substrate coatings, casting speed, and melt superheat, on heat fluxes, microstructures, and surface quality of metal /alloy strips and sheet product characteristics, together with in-line thermo-mechanical treatments, can all be studied and perfected for full scale DSC casters.

Two generations of strip caster simulators consisting of moving, coated or uncoated, chill moulds onto which molten metal is deposited are operational, and are used to simulate belt casting speeds of 0.4 to 1.5 m/s on the MMPC-Hazelett Belt Caster. These simulators are used as convenient adjuncts to the pilot scale horizontal strip caster and are equipped with buried thermocouples for instantaneous heat flux measurements. In combination with mathematical modelling analyses, the effects of heat flux and heat transfer coefficients, cooling rates, and superheats, etc., on strip microstructures, sheet geometry and quality, etc., can be studied.

Water Modelling Facilities

The MMPC Water Modelling facility allows for the full-scale modelling of typical ladle/tundish/mould flow systems (e.g. flow metering, slag entrainment, vortexing flows, tundish designs, alloy injection simulations, etc.).  The laboratory also includes holding tanks, ladles, tundishes and shrouds, twin roll casting model, etc., in conjunction with sensor systems for mixing studies, flow visualisation, and inclusion sensing equipment. A Particle Image Velocimeter (PIV), for simultaneous velocity measurements and flow visualisation is available, together with a laser doppler system (back scatter) for the local interogation of any flow field (turbulence levels). PIV is a powerful tool to measure a wide range of velocities from low velocity convection flows to supersonic flows (~400m/s). PIV is very useful for validation of the CFD flow field calculations. It is also applicable to unsteady, periodic, and complex steady flows.

 Liquid Metal Quality Analysers

Developed at McGill University, LiMCA equipment (Liquid Metal Cleanliness Analyzer) for liquid metals and aqueous systems are available from ABB Bomem, (for liquid Al), and Heraeus-Electronite (for molten steels). These analysers make use of the electric sensing zone, ESZ, principle to detect and to measure the size and number density of inclusions. Metal Windows software for on-line DSP systems allows for the processing and analysis of LiMCA signals. This software can discriminate between different types of inclusions and micro-bubbles.

Materials Characterisation Equipment

Clemex Image Analysis SystemThis microscope system allows for the automated analysis of images. Applications include grain size characterization (grain size and shape measurements), Inclusion ratings for steel, powder analysis (area, length, shape of particles), particle sizing and distribution, thermal spray coating thicknesses, porosity analysis, surface morphology, etc.

Confocal Scanning Laser Microscope (CSLM) by Lasertec

CSLM is a new technique that combines the advantages of confocal optics and a He-Ne laser, thereby making it possible to observe samples at elevated temperatures with high resolution. This technique is ideally suited for in-situ studies of fluid flow, chemical reactions and phase transformations involving molten metals, fluxes and refractory linings.By scanning a surface at various focal depths, a 3D image is created, allowing images of uneven surfaces to be discerned. Similarly, the high light intensity of the laser stifles the intensity of thermal radiation, greatly enhancing the resolution of different phases within a field of view.

3D Profilometer by Nanovea

This equipment uses 3D stereoscopic imagery of surfaces at the micro-level. It is contactless, fully automated, and can be sued for detailed characterisation of casting surfaces such as roughness measurements and detailed surface topography.

Equipment for Characterising Safety Clothing for Handling of Molten Metals

The MMPC is involved in the evaluation of heat transfer through fabrics used for protective clothing against contact with molten metals and salts. The equipment shown below is qualified to administer the standard test ASTM F955-03. This method evaluates the effect of molten aluminum alloys, molten cryolite, liquid stainless Steels, titanium alloys, cast iron, etc…on bio- and synthetic materials.

high performance computer

Constructed in 2013 by SGI

1 head node computer + 6 computer nodes

The head node has 24 cores, 8TB  storage and 64 GB RAM

In total, computer nodes have 288 cores, 6TB storage capacity, and 768GB RAM

The operating system of the HPC is Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 HPCC Edition

Solid Metal Processing and Environmental Studies Equipment

Equipment for environmental studies includes a multi-mode reactor for studying the combustion and treatment of solid wastes.  Equipment for in-furnace diagnostics (e.g. reheat furnace) include a 5-hole Pitot tube for gas flow velocities, a suction pyrometer for true gas temperature in furnaces, and gas analysers for CO, CO2, H2, H2O, CH4, and O2.