How many hours per week do you work on average? How satisfied are you with certain elements of your job? What will be the biggest challenge for your company in the next 12 months? See how thermal-processing employees from across the country answered these questions and more.
Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) installed three new gas nitriding units at its corporate headquarters in Waterloo, Iowa. The investment doubles their gas nitriding capacity at this location and allows the company to expand its UltraGlow gas nitriding and UltraOx surface-treatment solutions. The three units vary in size, allowing for the accommodation of industries and applications including agriculture, automotive, construction, aerospace, firearms and oil and energy. One unit will be operational this month, and the additional two units will begin operation in February. AHT also plans to design and build an additional unit later this year.
Solar Atmospheres Inc. filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (application number 15/999,873) for a high-pressure, rapid gas-quenching vacuum furnace utilizing an isolation transformer in the blower motor power system. The gas quench with a 600-HP motor operates at 460 volts in argon gas utilizing a double-wound electrical isolation transformer, primary winding 1:1 to the secondary winding, with a variable-speed drive and solid-state electrical spike protection for motor arc suppression.
Service Heat Treating, a commercial heat-treating company located in Milwaukee, Wis., has developed an alternative heat-treatment process known as WearAllthat has shown to provide better wear resistance than carbonitriding for a number of critical-service components.
Trive Capital, a Dallas-based private-equity firm, has partnered with California Brazing of Newark, Calif. Founded in 2002, California Brazing manufactures complex, high-tolerance components for space, aircraft connectivity, specialty electronic and defense applications. The company specializes in heat treating, CNC machining and metallic and ceramic vacuum brazing for both OEM and Tier 1 defense and communication customers.
Solar Manufacturing successfully completed the installation and start-up of a large 100-ton-force vacuum hot press at Refrac Systems’ commercial and aerospace diffusion bonding operation in Chandler, Ariz. The press includes a 2-bar-gas fan-quench cooling system. The furnace hot zone was modified to contain a 100-ton-load hydraulic ram centered over the zone, which is configured to diffusion bond parts up to 36 inches wide x 48 inches long x 30 inches tall.
TAV Vacuum Furnaces manufactured a customized vacuum furnace for a research center in the nuclear field. The furnace, which has useful dimensions of 13.8 inches (350 mm) wide x 15.7 (400 mm) inches high x 13.8 (350 mm) inches long, has a maximum temperature rating of 3992°F (2200°C). It represents a solution for advanced ceramics and metallic parts already realized with the additive-manufacturing process. The goal of this project was to create a laboratory furnace using the standards normally applied in the industrial field.
The construction site for Solar Manufacturing’s new facility in Sellersville, Pa., is well under way. The new 57,500-square-foot building is dedicated to vacuum furnace manufacturing. Four bridge cranes are in place, the full plant and office roof is complete, and most of the concrete floor has been poured.
StandardAero Component Services dedicated a 30,000-square-foot expansion of its component repair facility in Miami, Fla. The additional working space and capital improvements included the installation of a vacuum furnace, state-of-the-art clean line and water-jet cleaning capabilities. According to StandardAero, the facility will now be the largest provider of aerospace and aerospace-derivative combustor overhauls in North America and the second largest in the world.