When attempts are made to volatilize completely samples which contain a significant amount of certain refractory oxides in the carbon arc, difficulty is encountered in containing these samples in the electrode. Of the common substances the oxides of calcium and aluminum are the worst offenders. After the more volatile constituents have been driven off, these oxides form a tight bead of very high surface tension, having no tendency to wet the carbon surface, and when this stage is reached the turbulent gas of the arc stream ejects the bead.

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