I am trying to figure out if I can melt Aluminum cans using a heater coil from a toaster oven.
I've already used q=mc∆T and q=m*(Latent heat of fusion) to figure out how much energy is required to melt a mass m of aluminum, considering no heat loss to surroundings.
What I'm having a hard time with is that I know the coil needs to be at least 660°C in order to melt the aluminum. So, for example if at full draw the coil's temperature is only 500°C, once the surroundings reach 500°C, what happens? Obviously the aluminum isn't going to melt, but does the coil just stop drawing current since it isn't able to transfer the energy?