Abbott Furnace Company received an order from a company in the powder-metal industry for a steam-treat furnace. The continuous mesh-belt furnace, which will be installed in Mexico, provides a viable alternative to batch process methods. The steam-treat furnace was selected because of its process flexibility, ease of installation and the local regional support provided by the Abbott Mexico sales and service team.
According to Abbott Furnace, the steam-treatment process is the controlled oxidation of metals to produce a thin layer of oxide on the surface of a component. It can be used to provide a component with increased corrosion resistance, wear resistance and surface hardness. Steam treatment can also provide an attractive surface finish and, in the case of porous materials such as powder metal, seal the part porosity and increase the density.