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For applications requiring a high-quality material with low contents of impurities, thus extremely low contents of non-metallic inclusions, steels melted in the normal way can be remelted in a high-vacuum (HV) furnace. This production method is designated VAR (vacuum arc remelting) and 'HV' is added to the steel grade designation.
By vacuum arc remelting, billets from ingot cast material or continuously cast blooms are melted under a vacuum atmosphere. VAR steels and special-alloys, as well as titanium and zirconium and their alloys, are used in a large number of high integrity applications, where cleanliness, homogeneity and improved fatigue properties in the final product are essential.
The aerospace, power generation and nuclear industries, for example, rely on the properties and performance of these advanced remelted materials. Other examples of applications requiring vacuum arc remelted materials are: