Crucibles and the Graphite Option
When I think of crucibles, my mind always reverts to old movies or period pieces. A time where blacksmiths and sword smiths would be working over flame, carefully sculpting and creating all sorts of products and parts. And this is not incorrect. Crucibles have been around from roughly the fifth and sixth millennium B.C. They were first used in Eastern Europe and Iran, but their advantages and benefits made them become useful throughout the world. Their forms have varied throughout time, as have the materials they are used for and the products that they have created.
Crucibles can be used for metals, glass, pigment production and a vast array of modern lab applications. Options for crucibles can include porcelain or inert metals. Platinum, alumina, zirconia, magnesia, nickel, zirconium and graphite are a few of the possible crucible options. The overall idea of the crucible is the same. They are cup shaped pieces that come available in a variety of sizes. They are able to maintain form and composition when heated to extremely high temperatures. Many options will also come with some sort of crucible cover.
Graphite crucibles in particular can be incredibly useful in a variety of industries. These products are the perfect container for melting non-ferrous metals. Whether they are gold, silver, aluminum or brass, graphite crucibles offer the best option. They have an incredibly large temperature resistance as well as low reactivity with molten metals. However, these crucible materials do not work well with iron containing metals. The iron will react with the carbon, changing the composition and resulting in the destruction of the crucible. There are other factors that must be treated carefully when using crucibles, such as water and damp metals should not be used and packing the materials too tightly should be avoided. But, when used correctly, these products can be as exciting and useful as they were when they were first created ages ago.