Solar Atmospheres of Western PA recently vacuum degassed 175,000 pounds of 6Al-4V titanium in its 48-foot-long vacuum furnace. The furnace load consisted of 154 sheets of titanium measuring 40 inches wide x 240 inches long. It represented the largest and heaviest single load of titanium ever processed in Solar’s history.
Ipsen completed the installation of a vacuum furnace for Taiwan Hodaka Technology Co. Ltd., an aluminum extrusion supplier specializing in high-end aerospace aluminum alloys. The TurboTreater has a work zone size of 36 inches (914 mm) x 36 inches (914 mm) x 48 inches (1,219 mm) with a weight capacity of 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) and a normal operating temperature up to 2400°F (1315°C). The furnace was designed with convection heating, which allows for more uniform processing of large cross-section parts and dense loads. It is also capable of quenching at up to 12-bar positive pressure in nitrogen.
Aero Space Power, a European MRO facility, ordered a custom-made vacuum furnace from SECO/WARWICK. The furnace, which has a work area measuring 1,300 x 1,000 x 1,500 mm (51 x 39 x 59 inches), will be used for repair solutions for both complex aircraft engines and gas turbines for the energy industry at a facility in Hungary. It is designed to process work in the presence of two gases: argon (used for partial pressure) and nitrogen (used mainly in the cooling process). The furnace will be equipped with a dew-point sensor for each of the gases. It also includes a partial-pressure control system based on three gases (hydrogen, argon and nitrogen) to help prevent evaporation and sublimation of alloying elements from the load surface during the vacuum heat-treatment process.
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).
Solar Manufacturing built, shipped and installed a vacuum furnace for a commercial heat-treating and brazing facility in eastern Pennsylvania. The Mentor has stainless steel chamber, a work zone measuring 12 inches x 12 inches x 18 inches and a maximum operating temperature of 2400°F (1315°C) with a workload capacity of 250 pounds. The furnace includes a VHS 6-inch diffusion pump for vacuum performance in the 10-6 torr range, a high-performance 7.5-HP fan motor for internal gas quenching up to 2 bar and the SolarVac fully automated and programmable controls package with a Eurotherm digital recorder.
Solar Atmospheres of Western PA successfully vacuum heat treated two massive H13 extrusion dies at its facility in Hermitage, Pa. A new 10-bar, 600-HP high-pressure gas-quench vacuum furnace from Solar Manufacturing was able to fully harden the two H13 extrusion dies in successive cycles. The dies, received from two different customers located in Ohio, resulted in an as-quenched hardness of HRC 50-52 using nitrogen as the quench gas. The hollow die was 30 inches OD x 15 inches ID x 103 inches long and weighed 16,000 pounds. The solid die, belonging to a different customer, was 34 inches OD x 64 inches long and weighed 14,000 pounds. Post-quench each component was triple air tempered, resulting in a final hardness of HRC 46-48.
Solar Atmospheres of Michigan, formerly Vac-Met, recently purchased 18,000 square feet of plant space on over 4 acres in Chesterfield, Mich. The new building is 20 miles northeast of the two existing Vac-Met facilities in Warren and Fraser. The over $5 million investment gives Solar Atmospheres of Michigan the space to locate its employees and equipment under one roof while continuing to grow. In addition, two new vacuum furnaces were purchases from Solar Manufacturing for the move.
An Asian thread rolling-die conglomerate selected SECO/WARWICK to supply a vacuum furnace that will be used for vacuum hardening and tempering fastener dies. The Vector vacuum furnace has a heating chamber that measures 23.5 x 23.5 x 35.5 inches (600 x 600 x 900 mm), which enables efficient simultaneous heat treatment of many types of parts. The characteristic feature of this design is directional cooling, which guarantees uniform cooling of all the work inside the furnace, even those with problematic shapes. The furnace is also equipped with convection heating, which improves heat transfer efficiency during heating at lower temperatures. The customer needed to add a vacuum furnace that would allow heat treatment of tools for fastener production.
On November 16, NASA’s unmanned Orion spacecraft launched successfully from Cape Canaveral for a six-week test flight around the moon and back. This launch marks the first iteration of NASA’s moon-to-Mars Artemis 1 program. Each successive launch is designed to push the rocket through a series of rigorous tests before it is deemed reliable enough to carry astronauts to the moon and eventually to Mars.