The potential of microwave metal processing techniques for a wide variety of metals and alloys is great with the possibility of scale-up for commercial applications.
Melting and casting metals using microwave energy has been done at Y-12 National Security Complex (NSC) for over a decade. The technology has emerged from a lab-scale curiosity to a production scale process, and recently was licensed to several companies for commercial use. Metals that have been melted and cast include steels, titanium, zirconium, uranium, copper, brass, bronze, aluminum, and many other metals and alloy systems. Melt sizes range from a few pounds to more than 750 lb (few kg to 350+ kg). The potential of this technology is huge with possible scale-up.