You could say brothers Frank and Gene Clark followed their father’s lead.
Wade Clark, who had a long and distinguished career in the heat-treating industry, inspired his sons to enter the field. But instead of working in the heat-treat department of a manufacturer or for a commercial heat treater, the brothers opted to forge their own path.
So, in 1978, Frank and Gene founded Lark Heat Treating. Today, the MTI member is one of the top commercial heat treaters in the Greater Houston area, serving the leading service tool companies in the international petroleum industry.
With approximately 45 employees, Lark Heat Treating provides a wide range of services to its customers. These include open-fire processing up to 2150°F (with water, oil and polymer quenching), atmosphere processing up to 1950°F (with water and oil quenching), carburizing/carbonitriding, induction hardening and tempering, vacuum processing up to 2350°F, gas nitriding, abrasive cleaning and straightening. The company can also perform microhardness testing at its in-house lab, which includes a spectrometer and a carbon determinator.
Lark Heat Treating has the equipment to handle a variety of jobs. Its open-fire processing with water and oil quench capability stretches to parts 12 feet long and 15,000 pounds, while its open-fire polymer quench capability includes parts a maximum 7 feet long and wide weighing up to 8,000 pounds. The company’s carburizing/carbonitriding services can process parts 24 x 42 x 20 inches; gas nitriding can treat parts up to 84 inches long; and vacuum can manage parts up to 5 feet long that weigh up to 7,000 pounds.
Out of all this, however, Lark Heat Treating points to PLC programming on its induction equipment and data-gathering capabilities on all of its furnaces as technologies that are most important to its success as a business. The heat treater also boasts a special case-hardening process for superalloys called X-Tride that no one else offers.
What really helps set Lark Heat Treating apart from its competition is the experience it brings to the table. With over 130 years of combined industry know-how, the staff has tackled and solved almost every kind of heat-treating challenge a customer may encounter. With three metallurgists and ISO 9001:2015 certification, Lark Heat Treating can assist with any technical questions your company may have.
Over the past five years, Lark Heat Treating has installed several new vacuum furnaces, nitriding furnaces and internal-quench furnaces. After a 20,000-square-foot expansion a couple of years ago, the company is planning on adding more manufacturing space in 2021.
This is all quite impressive for the Clark brothers, who still own and operate the company they started to pay homage to their father 42 years ago.
Visit www.larkheat.com for more information on Lark Heat Treating.