Solar Manufacturing Inc. received purchase orders for 10 vacuum furnaces in the third quarter of 2022. The orders ranged in size from the compact Mentor and Mentor Pro series to a large production furnace with a work zone of up to 72 inches long. The furnaces will be shipped to companies across North America in the following market sectors: aerospace, commercial heat treating and additive manufacturing.
Lindberg/MPH built and shipped a gas-fired cyclone box furnace to a manufacturer. The heat-treat furnace has a maximum temperature rating of 1250°F and a load capacity of 6,000 pounds. It is designed for air atmosphere applications and utilizes a high-velocity forced heating system. A circulation fan provides optimum heat distribution by delivering heat evenly throughout the work chamber through high static pressure airflow. The furnace is designed to accept fixtures that are 48 inches wide x 84 inches deep x 48 inches high, and a full-width roller hearth is located across the furnace chamber floor for manual loading and load support.
Primetals Technologies received the final acceptance certificate (FAC) from Gerdau Special Steel North America, a manufacturer of special steel bars, for the modernization of its electric steel plant in Monroe, Mich. The project included modernizing the existing electric-arc furnace (EAF). The electric steel plant was also equipped with a new twin-ladle furnace, a new material-handling system and related auxiliary equipment. The upgrade has increased the plant’s overall annual production capacity of special rolled end products. End-to-end automation and the use of robot systems increase productivity and reliability, optimize workflows in the steelworks and reduce operating costs. The robotic systems also improve worker safety by performing potentially dangerous tasks, such as taking temperatures and samples.
Lenox Group, an aluminum extrusion profiles company, purchased a Nitrex turnkey nitriding system after adding a second extrusion press at its plant in Bulgaria. Faced with increased production and disappointing nitriding results from third-party processing services, Lenox opted to bring operations in-house to improve die reliability through more stringent quality control. In the end, a compact-size gas nitriding furnace for low-volume quantities best suited Lenox’s production needs. The plug-and-play nitriding system is built on a self-contained platform that includes the furnace, control system with Nitreg technology and an exhaust neutralizer for clean processing. Its small footprint allows it to fit into limited spaces. With a temperature distribution of +/-5°C, it is suited for nitriding H11 and H13 extrusion dies.
L&L Special Furnace Company Inc. has delivered an atmosphere-controlled retort burn-off furnace to a Midwest manufacturer of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). The furnace, which has a work zone of 32 inches wide x 32 inches high x 66 inches deep, has a single zone of control with a temperature gradient of ±20°F at 1100°F using four zones of temperature control with biasing to balance any temperature gradients. The parts are heated to 1220°F (660°C) in a retort chamber that is pressurized with nitrogen. The byproducts of the outgassing part are directed by pressure and flow out of the rear of the furnace. The parts are then heated in a vacuum furnace to temperatures in excess of 2300°F (1260°C). The result is a super strong component that is lighter than titanium.
Novelis Inc. broke ground on a $50 million recycling center in South Korea. With an annual casting capacity of 100 kilotonnes of low-carbon sheet ingot, the facility is expected to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 420,000 tons each year. The recycling center is being built by Ulsan Aluminum, Novelis’ joint venture with Kobe Steel. It is expected to come online in 2024. Novelis is building the new recycling center to meet the long-term global demand for sustainable, low-carbon aluminum sheet for can, automotive and high-end specialty products. The facility will allow the Atlanta-based company to increase its recycling capacity by more than 20% to 440 kilotonnes in Korea and to enhance its capability to process different types of aluminum scrap.
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) released recommended steel industry greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions calculation guidelines to provide consistent and comprehensive data across the industry on GHG emissions from steel production, with a focus on product-level disclosures and corporate-level reporting. The proposed guidelines are the result of a months-long collaboration with key American steel producers and AISI staff.
Steel Dynamics Inc. selected Columbus, Miss., as the location for its previously announced recycled aluminum flat-rolled mill. Columbus is strategically located within the targeted Southeast market, bringing numerous competitive customer, recycled-material and renewable-energy advantages to the project. The planned $1.9 billion aluminum flat-rolled mill is designed to have an annual production capacity of 650,000 metric tons of finished products. The product offering will be supported by various value-added finishing lines, including CASH (continuous annealing solutions heat treating) lines, continuous coating, and s slitting and packaging operations. The rolling mill is currently expected to begin operations in mid-2025.
SECO/WARWICK is scheduled to deliver two controlled-atmosphere brazing (CAB) lines and one universal chamber furnace for aluminum brazing to a manufacturer of diesel engine components. The CAB lines will enable the company to win more contracts for brazing large battery coolers. One of the systems will incorporate a furnace equipped with a 90.5-inch-wide (2,300-mm-wide) conveyor belt for large-dimension battery coolers. It is the widest CAB line sold to date by SECO/WARWICK in China. The CAB lines consist of a radiation preheating chamber, radiation brazing furnace, cooling chamber with an air jacket, final cooling chamber and control system. The universal chamber furnace provides brazing for low-scale production. This type of furnace is designed to braze a variety of heat exchangers in horizontal or vertical positions.
Primetals Technologies and RHI Magnesita are working together to develop a new green steel technology to replace blast furnace plants. The Smelter is a furnace powered by electrical energy and used for melting and final reduction of direct reduced iron (DRI). Operated together with a direct reduction plant and an LD converter (BOF), the Smelter produces hot metal for steelmaking and liquid slag that can be used in the cement industry. The conventional BF-LD converter route results in almost 2 tons of CO2 per ton of liquid steel. According to Primetals Technologies, the new technology will reduce CO2 emissions by a factor of six, to 0.33 tons of CO2 per ton of liquid steel.