History of Electric Induction Heating

This Chapter

Induction Heating
  1. Early work to Salesman
  2. Salesman to entrepreneur
  3. Vacuum furnaces
  4. Henry Rowan, Mars Rocket
  5. Cheston, Cragmet, IRS
  6. Visit Russia, Meet Vera
  7. Around the world, Meet the president
  8. Kramatorsk
  9. Consarc
  10. Consarc UK
  11. Carbon contract
  12. Russians in Scotland
  13. The Embargo is Coming
  14. Embargo and Aftermath
  15. BEPA
  16. After BEPA
  17. Fiber Materials Appeal
  18. Consarc Officials Deny Wrongdoing in Sales to Soviets
  19. Memos from Henry Rowan to Metcalf
  20. Rowland motor patent 1868
  21. Rowland reviews the bids for Niagara Falls power station
  22. Metcalf's father's poem, and Metcalf genealogy
  23. The Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
  24. Problems of Russia's Policy With Respect to China and Japan
  25. History of Ajax Magnethermic
  26. The most important event for Inductotherm
  27. Fright Flight
  28. Black art of carbon production
  29. Polaris Missile
  30. Nuclear Airplane
  31. Nuclear Engine
  32. Molten metal eats through and explodes
  33. Cannon Muskegon Corporation
  34. Metcalf at General Motors Research from April 1955 to Oct 1955
  35. Metcalf pouring superalloy at GE from Oct 1955 to June 1956
  36. Metcalf at Waimet (later Howmet) from June 1956 to July 1957
  37. Black art of carbon production
  38. Project to test NASA hot hydrogen engine
  39. Special Metals Number 9
  40. Metcalf joins Inductotherm group
  41. Device to load materials into a furnace for melting
  42. Bank reneged on a commitment to finance a job in Russia
  43. Inductotherm private airport
  44. NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) and all I know about carbon
  45. NERVA Engine Control Rods
  46. same as 383-Nuke.html
  47. Development of Polaris missle
  48. Ajax NASA
  49. Production of carbon fabrics and threads made from rayon
  50. George Houghton, Aerojet Inspector gives Metcalf Rocket history
  51. Rayon to carbon to graphite
  52. Metcalf buys the control division of the Pelton Water Wheel Company
  53. Rowan's account of firing Consarc President
  54. Kama Purchasing Commission, Ukraine
  55. Role of chromium in vacuum melters
  56. ASEA wins contract for isopress
  57. Induction heating to re-refile tank cannon
  58. Hoover-Ugine Company
  59. Letter to Henry Rowan at Inductotherm
  60. John Mortimer in Rancocas
  61. Consarc Board of Directors Meeting
  62. Consarc Board of Directors Meeting
  63. Hillbilly
  64. How to produce Calcarb
  65. Newsday, late 1987
  66. Embargo Regulations
  67. Seizure of Goods
  68. Minutes of Dept of Trade, London
  69. Minutes of ECGD Meeting
  70. Rowan Interview
  71. Bombshell looks like dud
  72. Letter to Hank Rowan
  73. Consarc Board Meeting
  74. Minutes of DTI Meeting, London
  75. Stansted Fluid Power
  76. Minutes of DTI Meeting, 3 Oct 85
  77. Letter to IHI Master Metals

Induction Heating

By James Farol Metcalf

Rayon to Carbon to Graphite

Joe Loan and I departed the Ajax Magnethermic plant in Warren, Ohio very early in the morning of the 20th of November 1963. We took with us the temperature measuring instruments to record the data for a thermal conversion of carbon cloth to graphite cloth at Union Carbide's factory in Fostoria, Ohio. The equipment was already installed and the dry run test completed on a design of an induction furnace with graphite elements that I sold and Joe Lona designed that summer. The first run of a large roll of 42-inch wide cloth was completed without difficulties late in the evening. When we arrived the next morning the roll of cloth was gone with only a small amount of ashes remaining. The interior fibers retained enough heat to start the fire that burned it. Carbon like the wood that made it burns. The production staff of Union Carbide knew what to do and built a box to contain the next roll so air could not get to it while it cooled. The next morning they had the first production roll.

We departed around 10 AM on Friday morning of the 23rd of November 1963 for the trip back to Warren. The music being played on one of the local radio stations was stopped with the announcement that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas. We were not able to pick up a clear network radio for a time and the local stations we getting bits and pieces including the Soviet connection. We later heard that the president was alive when he was admitted, but died at 1400 local time (1900 GMT) - 35 minutes after being shot.

Attached are two photos. The first was printed on most of the world's newspapers the next edition. The second was printed in many magazines and is a historical picture.


I took my wife and five children to a special church service in Howland Township the next morning.

The Warren Report later concluded he had been killed by shots fired by Mr. Oswald from the School Book Depository building. (He was married to a Soviet Citizen.) But conspiracy enthusiasts quickly turned the assassination into one of the most disputed events in modern history, with theories ranging from claims it was an elaborately staged suicide to the driver being the murderer.

This material Lona and I saw the day Kennedy was shot was the state of art for carbon fabrics used for the Aerojet project for the Mars rocket.

Rayon was basically 42% carbon with the balance being water. To convert the material it had to be heated to about 800 degrees C in a heater where no oxygen is present. The long process line started with a very large roll of rayon fabric that was 60 inches wide. A second roll was ready and could be attached to the first roll without stopping the process.

I think the first step was to pass the cloth through a solution of ammonia chloride before going through a drying stage that used heated air. The ammonia chloride acted as a catalyst to absorb water molecules from the rayon at about 350 degrees C. before it boiled away and condensed to be used again. The next step was to pass it through a heated zone until it reached about 800 degrees C. Finally through a cooling zone and the result was a 42-inch wide roll of carbon cloth.

Carbon cloth had many uses but some customers wanted graphite cloth. The transformation from carbon to graphite required a temperature in excess of 2200 degrees C. To reduce the time to complete this transformation the furnace temperature was set at 2700 degrees C.

Union Carbide and others were producing carbon fibers and threads at his time but the equipment was much too small to interest the team of Lona and Metcalf.

Carbon felt was being produced in simple batch ovens that also did not need the team of Lona and Metcalf.

Other processes will be attached to later chapters.