Custom Furnacing of Raw Minerals and the Scale-Up Process

A major company in the melting industry had been involved in the development of a new product utilizing its small R&D laboratory furnace, and achieved encouraging initial R&D results.


Hence, the company sought to produce a larger batch to meet its customers’ requirement of at least 100lbs for new product trials. However, the company’s furnace was only able to manufacture 5lbs of material.

The company was not willing to make a huge capital investments for new capacity installation prior to testing the material in the marketplace. Hence, it approached Washington Mills for help in furnacing larger quantities as part of its effort to find a company that had the instruments and expertise to melt and scale up from lab quantities to production quantities.

Solution from Washington Mills

Washington Mills’ fusion plant has multiple furnaces in gradually increasing sizes, which are ideally suited for scaling-up to production quantities. As part of the effort, Washington Mills together with the company performed a chain of furnace runs over the course of several months and successfully fused 10, 100, and 500lbs of the new material.

Washington Mills maintained consistent chemistry in each furnace run owing to its vast electric-arc furnace knowledge and experience in monitoring and regulating the furnace parameters.

Parameters such as current, voltage, reactance and power level needed to be controlled and regulated according to the changing quantities of materials being furnaced.

The integrated Process Logic Control (PLC) technology in the furnaces of Washington Mills enables the automatic response and control of certain parameters, which would be otherwise hard to control with the accuracy needed to fabricate a consistent product.


With the help of Washington Mills, the company was able to deliver 100lbs of new material to a handful of customers to test the material in their process. When the company received its first order, it seamlessly shifted to production quantities with Washington Mills immediately.

The custom furnace and milling services group of Washington Mills offered the installed capital equipment and the knowledge to scale-up furnace production rapidly and consistently.

About Washington Mills

Washington Mills is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of abrasive materials and fused mineral products. As the largest producer in North America with sales and manufacturing facilities around the world, our capabilities are unrivaled in the industry.

We offer a rich array of abrasive grains and specialty electro-fused minerals. From macro grits to micro grits, to custom specialty fusions, our fused materials are used around the world in hundreds of different industries and applications.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Washington Mills.

For more information on this source, please visit Washington Mills.


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