A vacuum oil quench (VOQ) furnace purchased by Solar Atmospheres of Western PA entered into full production after passing start-up protocol. The initial temperature uniformity survey, compliant to AMS 2750F, produced +/-10°F results at all setpoints. The critical lift-and-place transfer mechanism worked, and the system delivered hot 2,000-pound loads to the internal oil-quench tank. With a quench system that is entirely self-contained and vacuum-tight, the typical positive-pressure “flare and smoke-ups” during each quench cycle were nonexistent. The furnace, which was designed and built by Solar Manufacturing, has a hot zone measuring 36 x 36 x 48 inches.

According to Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, there is no need to use oxygen probes because the atmosphere is totally devoid of oxygen. In addition, material surfaces are free from intergranular oxidation (IGO) along with zero evidence of decarburized or carburized surface conditions, and heat-treated components emerge from the quench oil bright and clean. With carbon-potential issues eliminated, alloys of dissimilar carbon contents with comparable cross sections and austenitizing temperatures can all be treated within the same load.

Click here to see a video of the furnace with an internal and external camera during a quench operation.