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Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

01/22/2009 8:07 PM

Would there be any adverse effects to using stainless steel wire to weld a broken heating element in a industrial glass tempering furnace. The heating element is either steel or tungsten. We believe it is steel. It is magnetic, and very brittle.

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#1

Re: Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

01/23/2009 8:55 PM

One think so, as the resulting heating element would be characterized with non-uniform resistivity, hence possibly impaired performance. A re-joining by Induction Welding might be a better approach.

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#2

Re: Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

01/24/2009 8:37 AM

It would be helpful to identify the heating element material. It can't be tungsten because tungsten is not magnetic. Being magnetic suggests that it contains nickel or iron. 80% Ni 20% Cr (Nichrome) is a traditional resistance heating alloy, but is neither brittle nor magnetic. The brittle character may have developed over time by a reaction between the hot wire and gas ( O2, S, etc.) in the furnace. Repairing a broken wire may be done by splicing in a piece of wire of similar or higher conductivity. Depending on the temperature the wire runs at, the highest temperature repair would be a weld. Resistance welding is a good choice. Make sure you sand off any external oxide before attempting this. Another method is by brazing. Brazing is a lower temperature joint, but if the splice has higher conductivity than the resistance wire, it will operate at lower temperature. If it were my job, I would identify the wire material by measuring its resistivity, and replace the whole length. These wires are generally not expensive.

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Guru

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#3

Re: Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

01/24/2009 9:28 AM

Kanthol wire is magnetic. However it is very brittle after use and hard to weld. It will usually break in the heat affected zone. It forms a hard oxide when heated and when ordered the elements will come already flash heated to form this oxide.

If it is Kanthol I don't believe that welding will be successful.

What temperature are you running?

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#4

Re: Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

01/24/2009 9:55 AM

Kanthal would be a very good guess. If it is Kanthal wire, you might check out http://rick.sparber.org/Articles/we.pdf for suggestions on how to repair it.

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Guru
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#5

Re: Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

01/25/2009 10:35 PM

I am not sure how brittle your resistance wire is, but a possible and quick method would be to use a small dia copper tube { I have used the external tubing off SIT thermocouples } fit your resistance wires into the small piece of tube and pressure crimp with a suitable crimping tool. The joint being a low resistance will not get as hot as the resistance wire and should survive quite well.

At least it is worth a try.

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#6

Re: Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

01/28/2009 7:07 PM

Thank you all for your answers, I have not seen the gentleman who asked the question since last week when he asked me for help. I hope he used the link I gave him and has seen your replies. If I see him I will ask if your responses have helped.

Again Thank you very much for being so willing to help.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Use Stainless Steel Wire to repair Steel Heating element?

04/09/2009 11:46 AM

I am the Maintenance Manager for a glass tempering plant. Our furnace uses Kanthal elements at generally 1250f. furnace temp. We simply use stainless in the MIG welder to repair elements. We overlap them two or three turns and weld them as such. The welds seem to hold up fairly well. The manufacturer suggests using TIG and Kanthal filler but that isn't cost effective in our case.

hope this helps, JJ

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