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A large bowl of molten metal at a steel mill. Steel production.

Pros and Cons of Different Furnaces

Pros and Cons of Different Furnaces

Choosing the right furnace for your foundry business is a significant investment. Knowing what type of furnace meets your cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and safety needs is an integral part of the purchasing process. If you need insight into what kind of furnace is right for your business, we have overviewed and highlighted some of the pros and cons of different furnaces.

What is an Electric Arc?

An electric arc furnace (EAF) is a furnace that generates heat using high-voltage electrical currents. Electric arc furnaces heat metal through electric arcs discharged by charged electrodes. As air travels through the furnace and the charged material, it melts the metal. Because of how efficient electric arc furnaces are, they are the most common steel furnace worldwide. Using materials like scrap metal, they can create steel of all grades. 


  • Electric arcs can create steel from 100% recycled scrap metal
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Produces steel quickly
  • Faster and easier control over temperature


  • Graphite electrode costs are increasing over time
  • Less efficient in places prone to blackouts
  • It emits a lot of dust and debris

What is a Blast Furnace?

Blast furnaces are a type of furnace that utilizes coke, ores, limestone, and airflow to create molten metal of all kinds, including steel. These metals are produced as a result of combustion from constant air pressure.


  • Can easily produce clean steel
  • Highly efficient
  • Low power requirements and production cost


  • Not as environmentally sustainable due to high CO2 emissions
  • Coke sources are getting more expensive and less plentiful
  • The process of ironmaking is lengthy

What is an Induction Furnace?

An induction furnace utilizes electrical charges sent through a coil to melt metals. By creating currents through electrical induction, the metal within the furnace is melted by the heat produced by the coil. Because it generates heat through an electrical coil, induction furnaces do not require an outside fuel source like coke.


  • Melts metal quickly
  • Minimal pollutants compared to other furnaces
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to maintain and upkeep


  • Can not refine metals

What is a Crucible?

Crucible furnaces vary in design slightly depending on whether they are fixed or tiltable. Crucible furnaces always consist of a crucible with a metal charge that heats and melts metal. This charge usually consists of coke, gas, oil, or electricity. Once lit, the crucible can melt small batches of any alloy.


  • Crucibles are easy to maintain and operate
  • Low maintenance costs


  • Slower and less energy efficient than other furnaces
  • Can not melt large batches of metal
  • High emissions

General Kinematics Foundry Systems Can Help You Set Up Any Furnace

The correct choice of furnace for your company may vary depending on your business’s specific needs. General Kinematics has provided foundry systems installation, management, and equipment for over six decades. Contact us today; our dedicated team of foundry experts will help you smoothly set up any melt department, big or small.

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