Thursday, November 29, 2007

Electric Blower for Iron Smelting

Although the DARC smelt team has been working towards a historical era smelt, AIR has remained a major stumbling block. Use of a straight Viking Age blacksmith's bellows clearly does not push enough air volume to produce the type of bloom found in the archaeology. Getting enough air via an electric blower is clearly not historical. This whole problem will one of the research projects for this winter (expect further posts as the work proceeds).
We have been making due with a circa 1960's vintage vacumn cleaner blower. This is tough, but frankly older than some of our team members! Although we now have a second such blower rigged, there have been tense moments in recent smelts when the primary blower has stopped for one reason or another. (As I myself am just slightly older than this piece of equipment - I feel its pain!) To that end, we are going to invest in a brand new industrial blower for the upcoming year.

I had the following recommendation by Skip Williams - Good Advice which I pass along to my readers...

We've been using blowers made by AMETEK. They come in two varieties
1) a multistage vane pump - super quiet - fixed air output
2) brushless DC moter - with variable output

We have both kinds. For Full Scale smelting we generally use the
fixed output variety with an air dump valve at the tuyere. For any
research with teeny-tiny furnaces it is nice to be able to turn the
fan down to just a few CFM... so I use the variable type. I've found
that the 63 CFM blowers produce much more air than I can use.

These blowers are available cheaply from online 'surplus' stores.
Just Google "Ametek Blower". BTW. the retail price is over $1000

Try this one:
50 CFM BLOWER AMETEK #116246-04.
Motor is rated 115 VAC 1.9 amps60Hz / 3450 rpm. Ball bearing. Continuous duty. Thermally protected. Five-stage centrifugal design. The blower will move 50 cfm
of air at 0" of water-static pressure. Vacuum rating is 10 cfm at 16" of
Circular inlet has a 1.675" I.D. and a 1-3/4" O.D.
The circular outlet has a 1.6" I.D. and a 1-3/4" O.D.
A rectangular mounting foot is located on the bottom of the circular fan body. The
foot is 3-3/4" wide x 2-1/2" deep. Four tapped mounting holes are located in the corners of the foot The holes are tapped 1/4"X20 tpi. The hole centers are 1-3/4" apart (front to rear)and are 3" apart side to side)
(includes starting capacitor).
Dimensions:9-3/4" wide x 9" deep (front to back) x 10" high.
RFE $119.00 Ea.

That list price is in US funds, and does not include shipping.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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