UK Carbon and Graphite Ltd Ensures Precision of Graphite Electrodes with Bespoke Gagemaker Equipment

UK Carbon and Graphite Ltd has achieved the highest level of precision for the manufacture of graphite electrodes with their recent purchase of Gagemaker equipment from Bowers Group. As specialists in the manufacture and machining of carbon and graphite products, their production of graphite electrodes for use in electric arc furnaces is now more accurate than ever.

Accurate Thread Measurement for Threaded Couplings on Graphite Electrodes

Bowers Group was able to provide UK Carbon and Graphite with bespoke Gagemaker devices in order to guarantee accurate and precise thread measurement for threaded couplings on graphite electrodes. These electrodes are used to carry electricity in electric arc furnaces used in steel mills.

Graphite electrodes are made from a mixture of petroleum coke and coal tar pitch, which is extruded and shaped, and then baked in order to carbonise the binder. The components are then graphitised by heating to temperatures of up to 3000°C, at which the carbon atoms arrange themselves into graphite.

The graphite electrodes are manufactured to include threaded couplings, so that it is possible to add new parts as they wear. The pin and the electrode screw together, ordinarily a column of electrodes will be made up of 3 electrodes but in some production facilities there are even 10 electrodes in one column. AC Furnaces have 3 columns per furnace whilst a DC arc furnace would have one single column. Electricity passes through the electrodes to create an electrical arc within the furnace. Sublimation of the electrodes takes place at around 3300 degrees which along with oxidation of the electrode causes it to wear away. One electrode, therefore, may only last 8 hours before it’s fully consumed, depending on the application.

Electrodes can be manufactured in a variety of different sizes depending on the size of the furnace that they will be used in. The electrodes manufactured at UK Carbon and Graphite typically have diameters of between 175mm and 600mm, and lengths of between 1.2m and 2.8m. They are then distributed and used in steel mills all over the world; from here in Sheffield, UK to Africa, Asia, Middle East, The Americas and of course Europe.

Perfectly Accurate, Precision Components

Graphite is a very grainy material that requires robust measuring devices to verify the exact dimensions of components. Steel mills are violent environments and graphite is a relatively soft and breakable material. It is, therefore, imperative that the precision of the components is perfectly accurate and that the tolerances can be proven.

The precision measurement devices from Gagemaker allow UK Carbon and Graphite to ensure that the machined electrodes are 100% accurate, every time. They are now able to provide a guarantee with regard to the manufacturing tolerances of the electrodes, giving stakeholders the utmost confidence in the product.

The Highest Levels of Detail and Precision

Group Manufacturing Manager Richard Moore said: “UK Carbon and Graphite are always striving to improve the quality of the components that we produce. The Gagemaker equipment has allowed us to measure the threads on our electrodes with the very highest level of detail and precision, enabling us to provide guarantees to our customers that we are manufacturing an A1 product every single time.”

UK Carbon and Graphite takes quality extremely seriously in all areas of the business, and is certified by the British Standards Institution to ISO 9001. They are also proud to have received the 2011 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade Category, which recognised their growth and development in international markets.

As exclusive distributors of Gagemaker products in the UK, Bowers Group offers a range of their innovative mechanical inspection equipment including Tapered and Straight Thread Measurement Gauges, API Gauges, ISO, ANSI & ASME Thread Measurement and Engineering Software.