Solar Atmospheres Inc., Souderton, Pa., has formed a team of metallurgists and engineers to develop equipment and processing for vacuum furnace carburizing. Development parameters include low-pressure or vacuum carburizing atmospheres within a modified standard horizontal vacuum furnace hot zone. Team members are Nick Trivic, a Drexel University master's degree candidate in metallurgy and Solar's development manager; Harry Antes, Ph.D. metallurgy; Ken Moyer, metallurgist of Magnetic PM labs; Don Jordan metallurgist and Solar VP of operations; Bob Hill metallurgist and president of Solar Atmospheres, Western Pa.; Brian Shoemaker, mechanical engineer, Solar Mfg.; Bruce Ruhf electrical engineer and president of Solar Mfg.; William R. Jones electrical engineer and CEO of Solar Atmospheres. Several trial runs have been completed in a laboratory vacuum furnace at Solar, pointing the way toward continued development. Design and construction of a production model is scheduled for mid 2004.