With the reputation of benefits from low pressure vacuum carburizing increasing in the heat treating industry, Solar Atmospheres is pleased to announce an increase of capacity available to our customers. The increase is the result of a fourth, low pressure vacuum carburizing system installed on an existing vacuum furnace. Known as HT-58, the furnace has a working zone dimension of 72"L x 48"W x 40" H, and will be the largest horizontal, 10 bar, vacuum carburizing furnace available at Solar Atmospheres, Inc.
The existing furnace was updated with the vacuum carburizing controls as a result of an increased demand for processing larger product than what Solar currently handles. A particular advantage to the modification is the ability to process larger shafts in the vertical position, resulting in minimal distortion during processing. A second interest will be the ability to process larger gears and bearings for various markets. The furnace has a load capacity of 5,000 pounds and will double the weight capacity of the current largest vacuum carburizing furnace at Solar.
The furnace is equipped with 10 bar gas quenching, allowing the vacuum carburizing and subsequent gas quenching processes to be performed sequentially. For parts that require a liquid quench, a post carburizing anneal can be applied to the product. The benefits of the vacuum carburizing process are uniform case depths over traditional carburizing methods. This is apparent in the improvement of the ratio of the gear root to pitch case depth and deep, blind hole carburizing penetration. For parts that are low pressure vacuum carburized and high pressure gas quenched, an addition to these benefits would be minimal distortion (resulting in a reduced amount of post processing machining), the absence of inner granular oxidation, and clean parts that do not require post process washing.
With the expectation of the furnace being fully operational by early March 2010, the time to benefit from low pressure vacuum carburizing and high pressure gas quenching is now!