Principal investigator: Jung-Kun Lee, Ian Nettleship

University: University of Pittsburgh

Industry partners: Vesuvius

In the metal industry, a crucible is often used to contain molten metals above melting temperature for a long time. Therefore, it is difficult to discover the failure of a crucible at high temperature and take a preventive action before a minor failure causes a complete breakdown. The lack of an early detection monitoring method incurs a significant financial burden to the crucible industry, and causes a safety problem in the metal industry. To address this problem, it is necessary to develop a sensing technique that can be easily implemented in the current manufacturing process of crucibles.

The objective of this project is to develop an electric sensing method for early detection of crucible damage so that the safety of a production line is improved and human experts’ burden is relieved in manufacturing sites. Through close collaboration between Vesuvius and University of Pittsburgh, this research will develop a smart crucible which monitors in-situ the damage evolution during a smelting process and prevents the complete fracture and the leak of melts. This project, which covers both core manufacturing and basic materials science, will facilitate the innovation of Pennsylvania (PA) manufacturers and help participating engineering students to join the manufacturing sector in PA.