Prior to this time we have all been warned not to place metal or metal containing dishes within an operating home microwave oven for fear of oven destruction or worse.
Microwave metal smelting has been used in industrial applications for many years but is not considered practical for large-scale production use because of size constraints. To melt large quantities of metal for industrial use would require a microwave chamber as big as a house to work. Melting metals using microwaves, more correctly, using a common home microwave oven is a new process. It has been developed to be personally usable and practical only in the last couple of years.
The process/design employed by the “MICROWAVE GOLD KILN “ offered on the FissureMan Online website is the latest method developed for the small-scale prospector to use to process black sands that contain micron gold. It may also be used for melting small amounts of raw gold or other precious metal scrap. Some of you may not fully understand what is actually going on when it comes to this new process and are afraid it may be unsafe or even a con job/hoax of some sort due to your past understanding of microwave technology and the common microwave oven.
Using information from both the OEM of the “MICROWAVE GOLD KILN “ and the following research information located on the internet at address: http://home.c2i.net/metaphor/mvpage.html. I will attempt to explain further.
(OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer)
The process, when conducted as described in the OEM handbook supplied with the Microwave Kiln Kit, is a safe, inexpensive and viable new method to process your accumulated black sands and relieve them of the micron gold they may contain. There are three primary reasons that allow this process to work as described:
1: Materials used to construct the Kiln 2: Crucible material 3: Magnetite If you read the information contained in the site link provided above, the author describes how the microwave process works as it does. (By the way - the author of the referenced link is not the OEM or directly connected in any way with the “MICROWAVE GOLD KILN “. The kiln body materials, while being microwave transparent, insulate the high heat generated in the crucible from the surrounding oven components. The kiln material will contain and hold in the heat generated within the oven workspace. This will keep the oven safe and allow the metal in the crucible to get hot. Hot enough to actually melt the entrapped gold for smelting and eventual pouring.
The crucible needs to be microwave transparent as well as insulating at very high temperatures. This why the clay crucibles supplied in the Kiln Kit are best for this process.
Black sand is generally composed of both hematite and magnetite. The magnetite is what holds the micron size gold and can be separated from your other processed material with a magnet quite easily leaving behind the hematite as well as any blond sand, zirconia, etc. you don’t want or need.
Metal and metal objects will reflect microwave energy. This reflection causes the arcing we see when bare metal is placed within an operating microwave oven. This arcing and the subsequent open, uninsulated heating of the metal will lead to the oven’s eventual demise.
Black sand is nothing more than iron oxide, another form of ferrite. This material (reference the link above) absorbs microwave energy rather than reflecting it. It is what actually gets things hot enough to melt the metal in the crucible.
Since black sand absorbs, rather than reflects microwave energy, it will be what heats up. Add enough microwave energy for sufficient time and you get heating high enough that melts the black sand material and any gold entrapped within the oxide. Using the correct flux chemistry provides the smelting action. It not only enhances the microwave absorption, it will also refine and protect the melted metal within the crucible.
Using the proprietary custom flux mixture provided by the kiln’s OEM will allow safe smelting of your fine gold and/or if you desire, any scrap gold you might want to process into storable ingots or buttons.
As additional fodder to check out concerning the use of microwave ovens for purposes other than heating up your lunch, please take a look at some of the small glass fusing kilns offered on Ebay. You will note within those offerings having pictures of the open kiln pot, reveal a black colored material on the internal surface. This is ferrite or other such microwave absorbing material attached to the inside of the kiln body and being used to indirectly heat the glass that is being worked. Unless the glass being fused is “lead” glass or glass with metal content, it will be microwave transparent and will need a source of heat to allow melting for the fusing process. You can use key words such as “ microwave glass kiln” to locate some of these small fusing kiln pots being offered.
If you might be thinking these would be a cheaper alternative to the GOLD KILN KIT – I would suggest you not waste your money – they are not constructed for and will not work for gold smelting.
I hope this blog entry will help explain away or assuage any unfounded fears you might have or have seen in various prospecting forums concerning this new process or the equipment as offered on FissureMan Online.
If you have any questions or wish to gather more information please do not hesitate to contact me at email address firstname.lastname@example.org and I will explain further in answer to your questions to help you fully understand the process described above.