Designing a hot zone to meet specific operation needs is key to ensuring optimum production efficiency.
Thermal processing plays an important role in many manufacturing and research programs and has a significant impact on the success of an organization. Vital to good thermal processing is the selection and design of a vacuum furnace hot zone. There are many factors to consider in selecting a vacuum furnace that will handle specific process conditions. Advances in furnace technology, including materials and fabrication methods for heating elements, shields and retorts, have enabled greater flexibility in designing vacuum furnaces for many uses. Temperature is important, but it is just part of the overall picture because furnaces span a wide range of applications from vacuum brazing to hot pressing, from surface modification to sintering and heat treatment. Some of the many issues that should be reviewed before specifying a furnace are presented.