Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania completed a hot-zone replacement on one of its larger horizontal car-bottom vacuum furnaces. This is the second hot-zone rebuild over 17 years of furnace operation. The furnace, which has a work zone measuring 54 inches wide x 54 inches high x 144 inches long and a load capacity of 50,000 pounds, has been in service since 2003 and is the first furnace built by our sister company, Solar Manufacturing. It has a maximum operating temperature of 2800°F (1538°C) and performs many different daily thermal cycles ranging from 500-2750°F (260-1510°C).
The hot zone consists of three ring assemblies along the length of the furnace to support the graphite-felt insulation and the circular graphite heating elements. Insulation and heating elements are also provided on the loading cars to provide uniform heating on the bottom of the hot zone. The insulation was replaced on the rings and doors, and new heating elements were installed on the entire length of the furnace.