Aalberts surface technologies – HIP|braze|heat treatment announced a significant expansion of its austempering capabilities and capacity in Canton, Ohio, and Ft. Smith, Ark. Three atmosphere-to-salt furnaces will be added at the existing facility in Canton. This expands the number of austempering locations in Aalberts surface technologies’ U.S. footprint to four. Infrastructure will be engineered at Canton to allow for up to six austempering furnaces in the future. The expansion in Canton will allow Aalberts to better serve customers located in the eastern U.S. The austempering and marquenching equipment is scheduled to start up in the fourth quarter of 2023. In response to growing demand in the region, additional capacity will also be added at the Ft. Smith plant. One furnace is scheduled to be installed in the third quarter of 2023, and another is planned for the fourth quarter of 2024.

The added capacity will allow Aalberts surface technologies – HIP|braze|heat treatment to support existing current customers’ growth plans as well as demand from new entrants into the austempered ductile iron market. In addition, the expanded U.S. footprint creates redundancy that provides customers greater flexibility, risk mitigation and cost-reduction opportunities.

Austempering and marquenching are technical heat treatments that quench iron and steel parts in molten nitrate-nitrite salt instead of more traditional quench media, creating a preferred crystal structure. Austempered iron and steel have improved mechanical properties (tensile, yield and elongation) and higher toughness in comparison to traditional quench and temper processes.

Aalberts surface technologies – HIP|braze|heat treatment operates 17 facilities in the United States.