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

NERVA Engine Control Rods

The Atomic Energy Commission gave Beryllium Corporation an order to produce the control rods for the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) engine in 1960.

All reactors need a method to slow down or stop a nuclear reaction. (I am not able to understand the detail.) The AEC selected a mixture of 4% boron with beryllium to keep the weight of these rods to the absolute minimum.

Boron was poison for the product being used for the bomb components being produced at Hazleton. The Reading factory was used to mix the boron and beryllium powder. It was placed in a steel cylinder that was welded shut before it was heated for extrusion into a steel covered two-inch rod.

During the same time period the engineers at Reading came up with methods to "can" beryllium powder to produce shapes and sheets using other firms with rolling mills and presses.

I was assigned the problem to remove the iron from the exterior to expose the finished product. Nitric acid was selected from my old Chemical Engineering Handbook. Lona found details in the handbook to construct a very large acid container that he installed in the fabrication bay. We were late in this construction and more than a ton of product was already ready for processing.

I found that nylon rope and netting would not react with nitric acid so the first big load was placed in the acid in the morning. When we returned from lunch a green cloud filled the shop area and was rising from the roof. I put on my mask and with a wet towel covering my head ran into the building to place all the equipment in safe mode.

Afterwards we found that the load was too much and the acid overheated. We also found that the switch for the vent fan was not turned on and the nylon rope was acetate. After we drained the system the beryllium was nice and bright.

The specifications required heat treatment at 1800 degrees F. To avoid oxidation I packed the rods in a graphite die with beryllium chips surrounding the rods. For the first time in my work career I used a small flow of hydrogen into the vacuum furnace to bright anneal.

The rods were shipped and I assume we used to test the prototype nuclear engine that never flew.