The Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS), a government-funded research institute under the Ministry of Science and ICT, purchased a Nitrex vacuum furnace to bolster its vacuum heat-treating capabilities. KIMS conducts a range of technological research-and-development activities to advance Korea’s scientific and industrial research. The horizontal-type, external-quench vacuum furnace is equipped with a curved molybdenum wide-band heating element arranged in a circular configuration around the main hot zone. This free-floating design ensures optimum temperature uniformity throughout the chamber. Since the heating elements are in free movement during thermal expansion, there are fewer instances of breakage, twisting or premature failures. According to Nitrex, the furnace can heat treat parts at temperatures up to 2500°F (1371°C).

The Nitrex 2-bar vacuum furnace will support domestic companies, including Hanwha Aerospace and Samjeong Turbine, in a development project that aims to improve the cycle efficiency of industrial land-based gas turbines. Its work area measures 15 inches wide x 15 inches high x 24 inches long (381 x 381 x 610 mm), and it has a heavy-duty hearth assembly that supports high temperatures. The furnace has been in operation since December 2022. Its ability to process superalloy and high-performance alloy components and enhance their structural and surface integrity is especially important to KIMS.