Solar Atmospheres of Western PA (SAWPA) will install a 36-inch x 36-inch x 48-inch vacuum oil-quench (VOQ) furnace capable of safely quenching 2,000-pound loads without carbon-potential concerns. Designed and built by Solar Manufacturing, the furnace will be operational in early 2021.

SAWPA saw a need to expand its material hardening repertoire by adding oil-quenching capabilities, but the question for SAWPA had been: How do we make this process greener? The explosiveness of the protective endothermic gas along with the flammability of open oil-quench tanks has provided concerns with regard to environmental, health and safety standards established by the SHARP recognition program. The answer was a U.S.-manufactured, safe and quality VOQ furnace.

SAWPA is currently constructing a 15,000-square-foot building to make room for the VOQ furnace line, which includes a parts washer, two tempering furnaces and a charge car. The interconnecting 30-foot-tall building will be completed in mid-summer 2020, making the entire SAWPA complex in Hermitage, Pa., 120,000 square feet under one roof.