Compared with conventional graphite-heated melting furnaces, plasma reactors for melting and refining offer the advantage of a clean atmosphere. Compared with induction heated furnaces, they can be designed with higher specific outputs. Since the argon-stabilised torches operate with normal pressure, plasma reactors represent a favourably priced alternative to vacuum melting plants for many applications.
Plasma reactors can be operated on both DC and AC power supplies. Both transmitted and non-transmitted arcs are possible. Their field of application is therefore not limited to metals; for example, electrically non-conducting slags or foundry residues can therefore also be treated.