Vacuum Oil-Quench Furnace CommissionedJune 3, 2022
A newly designed vacuum oil-quench (VOQ) furnace recently entered into production at Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, after passing a vigorous startup protocol. The initial temperature-uniformity survey, compliant to AMS 2750 F, produced +/- 10 F results at all setpoints. Most importantly, the critical lift-and-place transfer mechanism worked flawlessly. This robustly designed system repeatedly delivered hot 2000-lb. loads to the internal oil-quench tank, the firm reports. The entirely self-contained and vacuum tight quench system avoided the typical positive-pressure flare- and smoke-ups during each quench cycle.
Other features include the ability to attain the actual work temperatures within the 36 by 36 by 48-in. hot zone. Additionally, with an atmosphere totally devoid of oxygen there is no need to use problematic oxygen probes. Material surfaces are free from intergranular oxidation along with zero evidence of decarburized or carburized surface conditions.
Says company president Bob Hill: “Insurance companies are reluctant to write policies for commercial heat treaters simply because they see a single flame or evidence of smoke. In the past, unfortunate accidents have occurred with explosive endothermic atmospheres and flammable oils. I am convinced that this new furnace is a much safer and greener way to oil-quench parts.”
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See also: Solar Atmospheres