Nitrex is set to start the fourth phase of expansion at its commercial heat-treating facility in Aurora, Ill. The project will add a fourth building that will house a new low-pressure carburizing (LPC) system and secondary heat-treating equipment. The ECM vacuum carburizing furnace with oil-quench capabilities will help meet growing demand from makers of high-end critical parts within the automotive, aerospace and tooling industries. The 20-bar dual-chamber furnace has a workload size of 40 inches long x 24 inches wide x 28 inches high (1,000 x 600 x 715 mm) and a load capacity of 1,500 pounds (680 kg).

The new building will connect to an existing structure, Building 3. According to Bill Walter, facility manager of Nitrex Aurora, the construction project will be completed in January 2021, and production on the LPC furnace is expected to begin in April 2021. The expansion will increase the production footprint by 11,000 square feet, a pre-requisite to support current demand and future growth. Once this building is completed, the total floor space will be over 50,000 square feet.

Nitrex operates three business units: Nitrex Turnkey System (NTS), a provider of turnkey nitriding, nitrocarburizing and vacuum heat-treat systems; Heat Treating Services (HTS), a worldwide network of commercial heat-treating service centers; and UPC, a provider of controls and automation solutions for heat treating and combustion. The company entered Aurora in 2000 when it acquired Alliance Metal Treating.