A few years ago, Solar Atmospheres recognized a demand for quality vacuum heat treatment on the West Coast. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania-based company was in a position to seize the opportunity and created Solar Atmospheres of California (SCA) in 2009.

Today, just two years after opening its doors, SCA provides a variety of services to more than 18 industries at its 25,000-square-foot, custom-built facility in Fontana, located 40 miles east of Los Angeles. The company specializes in vacuum heat treating, vacuum brazing and low-pressure vacuum carburizing, which includes extensive processing of titanium, tantalum, superalloys and stainless steel alloys.

With Solar’s commitment to environmental responsibility, the plant was designed with several energy-saving features as part of Southern California Edison’s “Savings by Design” program. These features include skylights, T-5 lighting, motor/pump variable-frequency drives and real-time power monitors to minimize and mitigate peak demand and power consumption. 

The heart of the state-of-the-art plant is its 24-foot car-bottom-type vacuum furnace, which is believed to be the largest of its kind on the West Coast. Designed and built by SCA’s sister company, Solar Manufacturing, it has a load capacity of 50,000 pounds and 2-bar pressure quenching in N, Ar and He. The site houses a variety of other furnaces – all constructed by Solar Manufacturing – including: a 6-foot-deep, 10-bar quenching high-vacuum furnace with low-pressure vacuum carburizing capability that can process up to 3,000-pound loads; a 5-foot-deep, 2-bar cooling high-vacuum furnace; and a 6-foot-deep recirculating air temper furnace.

Clearly, vacuum processing is the core of SCA’s heat-treating expertise. With Solar Atmospheres having more than 30 years of experience providing vacuum heat-treating services to leading companies, SCA can draw on this expertise to help determine the correct treatment for processing parts/materials with the most stringent metallurgical requirements. Vacuum processing provides a wide array of benefits and advantages. Vacuum heat treatment results in bright, clean, scale-free part surfaces; minimized distortion; and part-to-process repeatability. Vacuum brazing allows for strong, clean, leak-free joints as well as fluxless parts that require no post-cleaning. 

 SCA’s unique relationship with Solar Manufacturing allows it to develop processes and/or modify equipment to best suit customer requirements. It is this relationship that feeds and motivates Solar to become an industry leader in both process development and furnace technology. SCA also has access to SMART, the Solar Metallurgical Advanced Research Team.

What really sets SCA apart from West Coast competition is its technical expertise, reliable state-of-the-art equipment (which permits the processing of parts up to 50,000 pounds and 24 feet in length with quenching of high-velocity gas at pressures up to 10 bar) and unsurpassed attention to detail in pursuit of quality-assurance excellence. The company is ISO 9001/AS9100 certified, Nadcap accredited and ITAR registered. SCA also boasts an on-site metallurgical testing lab and prime approvals from Boeing, Moog, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and many more. Its location allows easy delivery and pickup access from Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernadino and San Diego.

Despite its relative youth, SCA is already expanding. In the past year, new equipment installations include a 36-inch x 36-inch x 48-inch 10-bar vacuum furnace and an 18-inch x 18-inch x 24-inch 2-bar vacuum furnace. And the company is well positioned for future growth. There is plenty of existing space to expand at its current site, and SCA has detailed plans for rapidly adding extensive car-bottom and high-pressure quenching capacity.

For additional details, please contact Mike Drakeley, Solar Atmospheres of CA Sales Director at 866-559-5994 or mjd@solaratmca.com.