History of Electric Induction Heating

This Chapter

Induction Heating
  1. Early work to Salesman
  2. Salesman to entrepreneur
  3. Vacuum furnaces
  4. Henry Rowan, Mars Rocket
  5. Cheston, Cragmet, IRS
  6. Visit Russia, Meet Vera
  7. Around the world, Meet the president
  8. Kramatorsk
  9. Consarc
  10. Consarc UK
  11. Carbon contract
  12. Russians in Scotland
  13. The Embargo is Coming
  14. Embargo and Aftermath
  15. BEPA
  16. After BEPA
  17. Fiber Materials Appeal
  18. Consarc Officials Deny Wrongdoing in Sales to Soviets
  19. Memos from Henry Rowan to Metcalf
  20. Rowland motor patent 1868
  21. Rowland reviews the bids for Niagara Falls power station
  22. Metcalf's father's poem, and Metcalf genealogy
  23. The Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
  24. Problems of Russia's Policy With Respect to China and Japan
  25. History of Ajax Magnethermic
  26. The most important event for Inductotherm
  27. Fright Flight
  28. Black art of carbon production
  29. Polaris Missile
  30. Nuclear Airplane
  31. Nuclear Engine
  32. Molten metal eats through and explodes
  33. Cannon Muskegon Corporation
  34. Metcalf at General Motors Research from April 1955 to Oct 1955
  35. Metcalf pouring superalloy at GE from Oct 1955 to June 1956
  36. Metcalf at Waimet (later Howmet) from June 1956 to July 1957
  37. Black art of carbon production
  38. Project to test NASA hot hydrogen engine
  39. Special Metals Number 9
  40. Metcalf joins Inductotherm group
  41. Device to load materials into a furnace for melting
  42. Bank reneged on a commitment to finance a job in Russia
  43. Inductotherm private airport
  44. NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) and all I know about carbon
  45. NERVA Engine Control Rods
  46. same as 383-Nuke.html
  47. Development of Polaris missle
  48. Ajax NASA
  49. Production of carbon fabrics and threads made from rayon
  50. George Houghton, Aerojet Inspector gives Metcalf Rocket history
  51. Rayon to carbon to graphite
  52. Metcalf buys the control division of the Pelton Water Wheel Company
  53. Rowan's account of firing Consarc President
  54. Kama Purchasing Commission, Ukraine
  55. Role of chromium in vacuum melters
  56. ASEA wins contract for isopress
  57. Induction heating to re-refile tank cannon
  58. Hoover-Ugine Company
  59. Letter to Henry Rowan at Inductotherm
  60. John Mortimer in Rancocas
  61. Consarc Board of Directors Meeting
  62. Consarc Board of Directors Meeting
  63. Hillbilly
  64. How to produce Calcarb
  65. Newsday, late 1987
  66. Embargo Regulations
  67. Seizure of Goods
  68. Minutes of Dept of Trade, London
  69. Minutes of ECGD Meeting
  70. Rowan Interview
  71. Bombshell looks like dud
  72. Letter to Hank Rowan
  73. Consarc Board Meeting
  74. Minutes of DTI Meeting, London
  75. Stansted Fluid Power
  76. Minutes of DTI Meeting, 3 Oct 85
  77. Letter to IHI Master Metals

Induction Heating

By James Farol Metcalf

Cannon Muskegon Corporation

Cannon Muskegon was the prime competitor of Waimet. I was to learn later that Waindle had been a partner in this business before joining the group in Detroit. They needed my experience from GE and welcomed hiring from the competition. The agreed pay was $12,000.The Cannon boys built their companies using the money and business power base their father had accumulated in his lifetime. Father Cannon and I got along very well, and in his final years he was a good teacher. He built the first foundry in Muskegon with his partners, Campbell and Wyatt. His foundry was the first major supplier to Ford Motor Company for the new mass-produced Model T.FJ Stokes built the vacuum chamber that held the furnace. Their main product was pill making machines and freeze drying equipment. They had a robust mechanical vacuum pump to produce the rough vacuum and a workable oil ejector pump to produce the high vacuum. The induction equipment at Cannon was from TOCCO.

The whole company got behind my efforts as we increased the output of their vacuum furnace six-fold in less than three months. It was unfortunate that the effort was wasted because the metallurgist of General Electric, the buyer of the metal, had the wrong mix. Most the metal we produced during that period was scrapped. From time to time an ingot would not crack. Boron it the refractory wash used for patching was the positive contamination needed to stop the cracking during forging. I was not aware but Special Metals was also having trouble making Waspaloy from virgin raw materials because lack of boron.

Henry Rowan came to our lobby one day in the summer of 1957. He told me that his firm had an excellent reputation in furnaces and coils for vacuum melting. I needed a furnace that was two times larger and was attempting to accomplish that at minimum costs. The engineer, Rowan was just what I needed.The new furnace I build from Rowan's suggestions was too heavy for the mechanical items for pouring the metal and handling the heavier molds. I did not call Stokes for the solution. I beefed up the devices using some cheap and crude designs. They were still installed on the equipment, to my amusement, more than twenty years later.

The vacuum system was now too small and I needed a bigger one, fast. I read in a trade magazine that the Germans were selling a blower booster pump. I was the first person in the USA to use this blower combination for a vacuum melting furnace. It is in widespread use today. I drove to Cleveland with a purchase order in hand, and put that four hundred pound pump in the trunk for the drive back to the factory. The mechanics installed it the next morning and it did the trick.

Father Cannon helped me design and produce a gating system to pour two-inch rods using heavy wall steel pipe. Six pipes were placed around one in the center making a seven pack that was held together by band strapping. This method was much cheaper than graphite or cast iron book molds. This method was modified and improved in many vacuum melting shops throughout the world.

There was no way for me to be a top technical man without further education. The business side looked more profitable, but this side of the business would not be open for me at Cannon Muskegon. Working for the Cannons was very easy, and my job put me in the position to become their top production man with a good lifetime job, but trapped by golden handcuffs.

Ken Iverson and Marv Pohlman left the company and later became the driving force behind the successful mini-steel company named Nucor.