How To Heat Metal Using Electricity?

Induction heating is the technique of melting down steel, copper, brass, graphite, gold, silver, aluminum, and carbide by electromagnetic induction through heat transfer going through an induction coil that forms an electromagnetic field within the coil. An electromagnet and an electronic oscillator feed a high-frequency alternating current (AC) through the electromagnet to create an induction heater. The fast fluctuating magnetic field penetrates the item, causing eddy currents, which are electric currents that flow inside the conductor. Eddy currents pass through the material’s resistance and heat it via Joule heating. Magnetic hysteresis losses generate heat in ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic materials, such as iron. The frequency of the electric current used for induction heating is determined by the size of the object, the type of material utilized, the coupling (between the work coil and the heated object), and the penetration depth.

The fact that heat is generated inside the object rather than by heat conduction from an external heat source is a key characteristic of the induction heating process. As a result, items can be heated very quickly. Furthermore, there is no requirement for external touch, which is significant when contamination is a concern. Many industrial operations, including heat treatment in metallurgy, Czochralski crystal formation and zone refining in the semiconductor sector, and melting refractory metals that need extremely high temperatures, involve induction heating. It’s also used to heat food containers on induction cooktops, which is known as induction cooking.

Is it possible to heat something using electricity?

Electric heating methods provide several advantages over other types of heating, including precise temperature control and heat energy distribution, the absence of combustion as a source of heat, and the capacity to reach temperatures that are difficult to achieve with chemical combustion. Electric heat can be precisely applied at the exact place in a process where it is needed, with a high power density per unit area or volume. Electric heating devices can be made to any size and placed anywhere within a facility. Electric heating systems are generally clean, quiet, and don’t generate a lot of waste heat into the environment. Electrical heating equipment has a fast response time, making it ideal for mass-production equipment that cycles quickly.

The higher cost of electrical energy compared to direct use of fuel, as well as the capital cost of both the electric heating apparatus and the infrastructure required to deliver large amounts of electrical energy to the point of use, are all limitations and disadvantages of electric heating in industry. This might be partially compensated by advances in in-plant (on-site) efficiency, which would require less energy to get the same outcome.

The temperature necessary, the amount of heat required, and the viable modalities of transmitting heat energy are all factors to consider when designing an industrial heating system. Electrical heating methods can use electric and magnetic fields to heat material in addition to conduction, convection, and radiation.

Resistance heating, electric arc heating, induction heating, and dielectric heating are all examples of electric heating methods. Electric current is applied directly to the workpiece in various procedures (for example, arc welding). Induction or dielectric losses cause heat within the workpiece in other processes. Heat can also be generated and then transported to the work through conduction, convection, or radiation.

Low-temperature (to approximately 400 C or 752 F), medium-temperature (between 400 and 1,150 C or 752 and 2,102 F), and high-temperature (beyond 1,150 C or 2,102 F) industrial heating operations are the most common. Baking and drying, curing finishes, soldering, molding, and shaping plastics are all low-temperature processes. Melting polymers and some non-metals for casting or reshaping, as well as annealing, stress-relieving, and heat-treating metals, are all medium-temperature processes. Steelmaking, brazing, welding, casting metals, cutting, smelting, and the creation of various chemicals are all high-temperature processes.

How can you get metal to heat up?

Prepare your cooling container with room-temperature oil or water. Metal tongs are used to hold the metal. Apply heat to the metal by putting it in the forge or oven, or by heating it with a torch.

What is the name of the method for heating and melting metal using electricity?

An electric furnace is a heating chamber that uses electricity as a heat source to melt and alloy metals and refractories at extremely high temperatures. The metal is just heated by the electricity, which has no electrochemical impact on it. Arc or induction furnaces are the most common kind of modern electric furnaces.

Which heat conductor is the most efficient?

The phrase “thermal conductivity” refers to how quickly a material absorbs heat from high-temperature areas and moves it to lower-temperature sections. Heat-conducting metals with high thermal conductivity are useful in a variety of applications, including cookware, heat exchangers, and heat sinks. Metals with a reduced rate of heat transfer, on the other hand, can be beneficial as a heat shield in applications that create a lot of heat, such as aviation engines.

From lowest to highest average thermal conductivity in Watts/meter-K at room temperature, here’s a list of heat transmitting metals and metal alloys:

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has one of the lowest thermal conductivities of any metal alloy, taking significantly longer than, say, copper to conduct heat away from a source. This means that a stainless-steel pot would take far longer to heat up food than a pot with a copper bottom (though stainless has other benefits). Stainless steel is used in steam and gas turbines in power plants because of its heat resistance and other qualities. Stainless steel cladding in architecture can withstand higher temperatures for longer, keeping structures cooler in the sun.


Although aluminum has a lesser thermal conductivity than copper, it is lighter in weight, less expensive, and easier to work with, making it a better choice for many applications. Microelectronics like LEDs and laser diodes, for example, require small heat sinks with metal fins that extend into the air. Heat from the electronics flows passively or with the help of forced airflow convection or a thermoelectric cooler from the chip to the metal and subsequently to the air.


Copper has a high thermal conductivity and is far less expensive and more readily available than silver, the best metal for conducting heat. Copper is a useful material for solar water heaters, gas water heaters, industrial heat exchangers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and heat pumps because it is corrosion resistant and biofouling resistant.

Other factors affecting heat conduction

In addition to thermal conductivity, other parameters that affect the rate of heat flow must be considered while choosing the optimum metals for heat conduction. The initial temperature of the metal, for example, can have a significant impact on its heat transfer rate. The thermal conductivity of iron is 73 degrees Fahrenheit at room temperature, but it lowers to 35 degrees Fahrenheit at 1832 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature difference across the metal, the thickness of the metal, and the surface area of the metal are all factors.

What is the definition of an electric heating system?

Electric furnaces are a better option than other furnace types in specific areas and under certain situations. Electric furnaces are similar to gas furnaces in that they produce heat using electricity rather than gas. This means that instead of gas burners, electric furnaces use electric heating elements.

Electric furnaces function similarly to a hair drier. They draw in air and pass it via a heat exchanger. Electric heating components warm the air once it enters the heat exchanger. The blower then pushes the warm air into your home’s ductwork, which distributes the air throughout the rooms.

Three to six electric-resistance heating elements, each rated at 3.5 to 7 kW, are used in these furnaces. These heating elements act similarly to toaster heating elements. Heat is produced when electrically charged particles flow through metal wires. Long wires are coiled into coils and mounted within the furnace to create heating elements.

The contactor, sequencer, and transformer are other crucial components of an electric furnace. The voltage to your furnace’s heating element is controlled by the contactor. It communicates with your thermostat to instruct your furnace to generate heat.

Your heating elements are turned on and off by the sequencer. It aids in reducing the current spike. Because it only takes a little to energize your heating elements, it’s critical to have a sequencer that prevents all of the heating elements in the furnace from becoming energized at the same time, which could trip a breaker.

Your electric furnace’s control circuits for the thermostat, contactors, and sequencers are powered by the transformer. It is a device that transmits electrical energy from one circuit to another. Because your furnace has many currents going through it, you’ll need a transformer to keep the current flowing smoothly and power your furnace.

Pros and Cons of Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces do not produce carbon monoxide, which is a benefit of using them over other fuel types. Because no carbon monoxide is produced, the system is both ecologically benign and simple to install. Because a flue isn’t required to remove these gases from your home, installation is simplified.

Electric furnaces are likewise 100 percent efficient because they use all of the electricity to heat your home. After combustion, a portion of the energy utilized to produce heat is evacuated by the flue. Gas, on the other hand, is usually less expensive than electricity.

Electric furnaces have a significant disadvantage in terms of operating costs. In many places, electricity is more expensive than gas. In some regions, electric furnaces are combined with heat pumps to provide higher cost reductions than electricity alone.

Thermoelectric generators: how efficient are they?

TEGs have an average efficiency of roughly 58%. Bimetallic connections were employed in older technologies, which were bulky. Depending on the temperature, more contemporary devices use highly doped semiconductors such as bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3), lead telluride (PbTe), calcium manganese oxide (Ca2Mn3O8), or combinations thereof. With the exception of a fan or pump, these are solid-state devices with no moving parts, unlike dynamos.

What does metal tempering entail?

Steel is heated at a high temperature, just below melting point, and then cooled, usually in air. Toughening occurs as a result of the process, which reduces brittleness and internal tensions. Tempering temperatures vary greatly depending on the type of steel and intended application; for tool steels that must preserve their hardness, the range is commonly 200 to 250 C (400 to 500 F). Cold-working, such as drawing wire or rolling sheet steel, is often referred to as hardening.

Is it possible for electricity to melt steel?

The electric-arc process, which employs high-current electric arcs to melt steel scrap and turn it into liquid steel of a particular chemical composition and temperature, produces about a quarter of the world’s steel. The fundamental oxygen process, in which heating is performed by the exothermic oxidation of elements present in the charge, allows for better thermal control than external arc heating. This enables bigger alloy additions than are achievable with traditional oxygen steelmaking. Electric-arc steelmaking, on the other hand, is less oxidizing and slag-metal mixing is less intensive, hence electric-arc steels typically contain carbon concentrations more than 0.05 percent. Furthermore, they often include 40 to 120 parts per million nitrogen, compared to 30 to 50 parts per million in basic-oxygen steels. In the high-temperature zone of the arc, liquid steel absorbs nitrogen from the air, which makes steel brittle. By putting additional gases into the furnace, heating with a short arc, and applying a forceful carbon monoxide boil or argon stir to the melt, the nitrogen concentration can be reduced.