The Electric smelter is used to extracts steel from Steel slag chunks and metal weapons. Colonists assigned to crafting will make use of it. Metallic weapons can be smelted to return 25% of their crafting cost. While any weapon can also be destroyed by smelting, it is not recommended as sale for silver brings a little profit as opposed to none at all by destruction.
Electric smelters produce heat in process of smelting things (amount comparable to output of one heater). No heat is produced when idle, even if powered on.
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* return for small materials (gold, silver, uranium)