James R. Stull was not pleased with the local heat-treating industry in southern California back in 1957. So, instead of complaining about it, the tool and die maker did what was necessary – he started his own business.

Today, Continental Heat Treating (CHT) is celebrating its 60th anniversary. And, perhaps just as important, it is still owned and operated by the Stull family. With 75 employees, the Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based heat treater primarily serves the aerospace industry – both commercial and defense.

CHT is a true one-stop heat-treat operation. The company offers a variety of heat-treatment processes, which are supported by in-house copper plating and copper stripping, aluminum and glass bead blasting, and metallurgical and hardness lab testing. These in-house capabilities allow CHT to control and maintain both quality and scheduling for better customer service

This MTI member specializes in the processing of alloy and stainless steels. Heat-treat services provided include: vacuum (with both oil and atmosphere quenching); case hardening by gas nitriding or carburizing; endothermic atmosphere hardening with the option of marquenching for distortion control; stress relieving; and precipitation hardening.

Make no mistake, though. CHT is well aware that vacuum heat treating is the basis of its success. That being said, having Nadcap accreditation is just as important. Nadcap, a global cooperative accreditation program for the aerospace and defense, is required by many manufacturers. As such, CHT has the following certifications: Aerospace Quality System (AC7004) and Heat Treating.  CHT is also approved by a large number of prime contractors, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce.

Vacuum heat treatment, however, is not really unique to the industry. But that doesn’t mean CHT doesn’t offer services that set it apart from the competition. For example, the combination of special tooling and marquenching allows the company to consistently control growth and distortion in the most complex and critical configurations. CHT’s selection of atmosphere controls allows it to process finish-machined parts of all configurations. And having copper plating and masking in-house is a significant advantage in terms of customer service and convenience.

Ask CHT President James Stull what really makes his company great, and you’ll get a simple answer: the people. Managers and top-level production personnel are all experienced heat-treating professionals with decades of industry service. These employees have a willingness to apply that expertise and take pride in delivering high-quality, sophisticated heat-treating solutions. It doesn’t hurt that CHT provides the training and education needed to keep its workers at the top of their game.

CHT is also doing its best to continually evolve and improve. The company recently expanded and renovated its facility. The project will allow CHT to develop its growth processes and maintain its family-run-business feel.

As for the future, CHT plans on continuing to grow, whether it be by acquisition or organic. The company will also continue to train, educate and challenge its employees. And, most importantly, CHT will remain focused on exceptional quality and reliable service.

Visit www.continentalht.com for more information on Continental Heat Treating.