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Riley Surface World provides power supply equipment to USA titanium investment casting manufacturer


Riley Surface World has recently won a large order from Selmet Inc., an American supplier of titanium investment casting to to the global aerospace industry. The company purchased 4 x 10,000 Amp, 0-35 Volt Cortina rectifier sets formerly used in the UK for the anodising of surface finished aluminium coil, as used in light diffusers and other similar products. These high powered units are now being applied to vacuum arc melting (VAR).

Selmet was established by Larry Sharpf in 1983. Now part of Blue Point Capital Partners, Selmet has grown into a world-class company with a huge range of quality accreditations, including that of Gold Supplier to the United Technologies Corporation.

Vacuum arc melting (VAR) is a method of melting consumable titanium electrodes in a water-cooled copper crucible while under a vacuum using high amperage and low voltage.

This melting method intensely stirs the liquid metal. The stirring promotes a very homogenous melt pool and effectively distributes alloying elements evenly throughout the poured casting.

A thin layer of metal remains frozen against the crucible, forming a skull. The boundary layer in the liquid adjacent to the skull, together with the skull itself and the interface between the skull and the crucible, all serve as resistors. This reduces the heat conducted from the hot liquid into the cold crucible.

This highly specialised process requires a stable and reliable DC power supply, something that Riley Surface World was able to provide at a greatly reduced price in comparison to the purchase of new equipment.

Commenting on the project, Art Hill, an executive consultant at Selmet said:

‘We are delighted with the first class products and excellent customer service that we received from Riley Surface World. They were able to put us in touch with a power supplies consultant in the UK, who did a thorough analysis of our requirements and designed the ideal solution.

‘The agreement also made sound financial sense and the shipping of the equipment to our factory in Oregon was handled in a thoroughly professional manner by the Riley team.’

This is just one example of how DC power supplies for one process can be adapted to another application in a different part of the world, creating new export opportunities for UK companies.

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