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Measuring moisture and temperature in the metalworking process is key to achieving the required properties of the treated metals

Controlling the moisture and temperature in metal processing is crucial to achieve the required properties of the processed metals.

If the dew point is uncontrolled in the process or measured with poor quality instruments, gasification or decarburisation can occur. The latter has a negative effect on the dimensions and hardness of the metal. Similar consequences arise when temperature conditions during the machining of cast irons are neglected.

Here we introduce you to the moisture measurement instruments for metal processing from our partner Michell.

Also, as a solution for measuring the temperature of castings, we present the Foundry Thermometer – a professional set for aluminium, copper and copper alloy melts.

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Figure: Example of an incandescent furnace for aluminium melts

Improving processing operations through accurate moisture measurement

The process of controlling humidity takes place in the annealing furnaces. Annealing increases the durability and reduces the internal stress of metals. The metal is heated to just above the critical temperature, then held at a lower temperature for a few hours before cooling. It is important that the process is carried out in a controlled atmosphere to ensure quality.

Measuring the dew point of an incandescent furnace is a key indicator of how dense and/or oxidising the atmosphere is during the heating process. The latter allows the furnace operator to precisely control the gas mixture needed to determine the atmospheric conditions, thus achieving the best treatment results. Accurate determination of the furnace atmosphere conditions leads to better conclusions and lower gas consumption. In this way, the annealing process can be carried out at lower temperatures, resulting in lower operating costs – energy efficiency.

The dew point in the furnace atmosphere must be measured continuously. The desirable dew points during the machining process are -50 °C or -70 °C, depending on the type of metal being machined.

moisture control and dew point in metal processing
Figure: Example of a processing furnace


Sintering processes use relatively low temperatures (around 600 °C) to bind powdered metals. Sintering results in light and strong products for a variety of applications, from machine parts to ammunition casings.

Sintering can be carried out in a vacuum, or at atmospheric pressure in an inert gas such as hydrogen. Due to the powdery composition of the raw material, exposure to moisture in the kiln can cause sticking, resulting in large holes in the finished product. To avoid this, precise measurement and control of moisture content is necessary. Sintering at 600 °C requires a constant dew point of -60 °C. Gas sampling in the furnace takes place at several points and is necessary for a rapid response to moisture. If the moisture level rises above the maximum, this allows quick action to be taken to avoid major damage to the metalworking process.

ELPRO Lepenik & Co. recommends high-quality moisture meters for moisture control in metal processing:


ELPRO BEAUTIFUL we offer you from our product range EL-MARSH casting thermometer, professional set for aluminium, copper and copper alloy melts . The set consists of professional components for fast and efficient temperature measurement of aluminium and other cast materials. The set is made to order according to the length of the measuring tip and fixings. You can also receive an accredited calibration of the thermometer or the complete set.

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Image:Professional aluminium smelting set

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