Press Release

Press Release

Development of a Oxygen Plasma Cutting Machine Electrode that Uses Hafnium Carbide in the Emissive Element -Drastically Increasing the Lifespan of the Electrode-

October 23, 2018
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
Nissan Tanaka Corporation

Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (Headquarters: Higashi-ku, Nagoya-shi; President & Director: Satoru Katsuno) and Nissan Tanaka Corporation (Headquarters: Miyoshi-machi, Iruma-gun, Saitama; President & Chairman: Toshihiko Hamada; hereafter, Nissan Tanaka) have developed an electrode (hereafter, "this product") for the oxygen plasma cutting machine that uses hafnium carbide in the emissive element.

Oxygen plasma cutting machines cut mild steel (approx. 6-40mm; Note 1) using the heat of oxygen plasma emitted from the electrode and heat generated by the reaction between oxygen and the mild steel. It is most often used in construction machinery factories and shipyards.

(Note 1) Iron that contains 0.13-0.20% carbon. Widely used in the construction/industrial fields in the arms of hydraulic shovels, bridges and such.

A metal called hafnium with a melting point of approximately 2,200 degrees Celsius was traditionally used in the emissive element of electrodes, but because the central temperature of the oxygen plasma is high at approximately 20,000 degrees Celsius, the emissive element was prone to melting and had a high wear rate.

In grappling with this issue, the potential of hafnium carbide, as a metal with a higher melting point of approximately 3,800 degrees Celsius, for its use in electrodes had been explored. However, the properties of powdered hafnium carbide which require high temperatures in its manipulation had come in the way of shaping and working it into an emissive element.

We are proud to announce today that we have successfully shaped hafnium carbide into an electrode by examining the process from manufacturing powdered hafnium carbide to shaping and working it into an emissive element, increasing the electrode's lifespan by approximately 1.6 times.

This will reduce the frequency of electrode replacements, improving productivity and reducing labor costs associated with the replacements.

We are seeking a patent for parts of the process used in the manufacturing of this product.

Nissan Tanaka will begin accepting orders for oxygen plasma cutting machines with this new product.

[Main Characteristics of This Product]

Drastically Improves the Lifespan of the Electrode

The lifespan of the electrode using the new product (Note 2) is approximately 1.6 times that of an electrode that use hafnium, and the replacement frequency will be able to be decreased from once a day to two times in three days,
=>Cost for replacing electrodes reduced by 30%

(Note 2) Conventional products: approx.230 minutes→ This product: approx.360 minutes
(Testing conditions: 16mm thick mild steel plate, applying a electrical current of 300A, turning the switch on and off at 1 minute intervals) +

[Picture of mild steel being cut through using this product]

Picture of mild steel being cut through using this product

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