Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania will install the largest horizontal high-vacuum furnace ever constructed at its Hermitage, Pa., facility. The equipment will be engineered and manufactured by sister company Solar Manufacturing. The $8 million investment includes the cost of the furnace, a new 20,000-square-foot building addition and utilities to operate the large system. Programs for the engineering and construction phases have been initiated with key orders placed for system components. Installation and testing are scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2016.

 This car-bottom type furnace will have a work zone that measures 7 feet in diameter x 48 feet long and be capable of handling loads up to 150,000 pounds at 2400°F. Dual loading cars are provided for loading/unloading from both ends of the furnace. The vacuum chamber is being manufactured by Youngberg Industries of Rockford, Ill., and will incorporate three 48-inch-diameter vacuum ports as well as six 24-inch-diameter ports for gas cooling inlet and outlet. Autoclave-type locking doors are included at both ends of the furnace.