Solar Manufacturing successfully completed the installation and start-up of a large 100-ton-force vacuum hot press at Refrac Systems’ commercial and aerospace diffusion bonding operation in Chandler, Ariz. The press includes a 2-bar-gas fan-quench cooling system. The furnace hot zone was modified to contain a 100-ton-load hydraulic ram centered over the zone, which is configured to diffusion bond parts up to 36 inches wide x 48 inches long x 30 inches tall.

Specifically designed to diffusion bond large plastic injection-molding dies and concurrently quench harden them, the system is also finding applications in bonding advanced superalloy heat exchangers where the quench cooling offers significant improvement on performance.

Norm Hubele, president of Refrac Systems, said: “We really drew on the extensive engineering experience base that Solar Manufacturing has for building large gas fan-quench-cooled vacuum furnaces coupled with our own vacuum hot-pressing experience to build this very unique hot-press system.”