Solar Atmospheres of Western PA (SAWPA) received Nadcap accreditation for its new, fully integrated vacuum oil quench (VOQ) furnace. Designed and built by Solar Manufacturing, this two-chamber VOQ furnace is completely sealed, meaning a significantly cleaner and safer oil-quenching process. The entire VOQ system is much “greener” than traditional integral quench or open-pit quench furnaces, according to SAWPA. With a maximum load weight of 2,000 pounds, the furnace can successfully quench alloy steels and martensitic stainless steels to the most stringent of aerospace industry standards. Near-net shapes and finished products can be hardened by quenching in oil with minimal risk of surface contamination.

“I admit I was nervous the first time we ran low-alloy steel parts for a military contract,” said Greg Scheuring, SAWPA plant metallurgist. “I assumed there would be a minimal partially decarburized layer. But when the low-alloy steel parts came out with no decarburization with zero intergranular oxidation (IGO), I knew the VOQ was going to open up a whole new market for SAWPA.”