ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH, the Engineering Systems Division of AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V., will supply three production-scale vacuum de-waxing and high-pressure sintering furnaces to Xiamen Golden Egret Special Alloy Co., Ltd., one of China’s leading manufacturers of cemented-carbide products. These furnaces will provide high-pressure sintering with up to 100-bar argon gas pressure, the final step in the production of high-quality hard-metal products. The VKPgr furnace combines the three main process steps in hard-metal production.

In the first process cycle, the cemented-carbide parts are de-waxed. Next, the components are vacuum sintered at temperatures of about 1400°C (2552°F). In the final step, the components are compacted under high gas pressure to achieve a porous-free material structure. The high-pressure compacting step is the key to securing the highest mechanical properties of the cemented-carbide components for tools such as drills or cutters.