Refrac Systems of Chandler, Ariz., contracted Solar Manufacturing to design and build a large 100-ton-load gas fan quench vacuum hot press (GFQVHP) system for its aerospace diffusion-bonding operation. Refrac Systems, working with Solar’s engineering team, selected a derivative of Solar’s standard internally quenched 2-bar vacuum furnace as the base design of the system. The new system contains many new designs, as it needed to be both an automated vacuum hot press and be extra versatile for making super plastically formed and diffusion-bonded (SPFDB) aerospace structures. Solar Manufacturing expects to ship the GFQVHP unit in July.

The furnace chamber for this unit was built by Amity Industries of Douglassville, Pa.  Beckwood/Triform of St. Louis, Mo., was selected to build the large 100-ton four-post hydraulic press frame for the system. The control console unit was built by Optima-Stantron of Lawrenceville, Ga. Final assembly, testing and start-up of the system is projected for the fourth quarter of 2016 in Chandler.