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.
Solar Manufacturing designs a wide range of furnace models and sizes. Although we are well known for our large vacuum car-bottom furnaces, we also offer the Mentor®, which is our highly successful compact, efficient and economical furnace.
Solar Manufacturing received an order for a vacuum furnace from MSL Heat Treatment, a subsidiary of Magnetic Shields Ltd. of Kent, United Kingdom. The Mentor Pro will be manufactured in accordance with CE standards, including the vacuum chamber being built to ASME/UKCA requirements. The furnace has a working hot zone area of 18 inches wide x 18 inches high x 36 inches deep with a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds. Able to reach temperatures up to 2400°F (1315°C), it will include a three-gas partial-pressure system and an internal quench system designed for 2-bar (15 PSIG) positive pressure quenching.
SECO/VACUUM, a SECO/WARWICK Group company, received an order for a 2-bar vacuum heat-treating furnace from an automotive components manufacturer. The single-chamber furnace, which has a chamber size of 36 x 36 x 48 inches and a load capacity of 3,300 pounds, will increase the company’s annealing production of fuel-injector components. The high-pressure-quench unit will complement an existing SECO/VACUUM furnace in operation at that location since 2002. Because the new furnace is a nearly identical model, they share standard components and will reduce the necessary inventory of spare parts.
Solar Manufacturing Inc. received an order for a vacuum heat-treating furnace order from a firearms manufacturer based in the United States. The furnace has a hot zone measuring 36 inches x 36 inches x 48 inches with a weight capacity of 5,000 pounds. It has a maximum operating temperature of 2400°F (1315°C) and heats to 2500°F (1371°C) for hot zone bake-out. The furnace design has a temperature uniformity of ±10°F and is AMS 2750-compliant with vacuum levels in the low micron range. For rapid turnaround for work cooling, a 100-HP gas blower is provided for operation at 15 PSIG (2 bar) in nitrogen gas.
SECO/VACUUM received an order for two vacuum tempering furnaces from an international cutting-tool manufacturer. The furnaces will augment the company’s capacity, which currently includes four vacuum tempering furnaces of the same configuration at its North Carolina manufacturing facility. The two horizontal, front-loading Vector furnaces are designed with an all-metal hot zone for clean vacuum processing. As with the earlier furnaces, the new furnaces include convection fans and a pressurized gas quench for rapid cooling.
Solar Atmospheres of Western PA successfully vacuum heat treated what it says is the largest and longest load of nickel-alloy tubing ever in a commercial vacuum furnace. The goal was to preserve the elements of brightness and cleanliness of the 45-foot-long seamless tubing while meeting stringent mechanical properties.
Vacuum thermal processing is vital for automotive and aerospace component manufacturers due to industry demands for the highest possible quality. Brazing and surface treatment are two process areas where vacuum technology is used.
Solar Manufacturing shipped an external-quench vacuum furnace to a West Coast aerospace manufacturer. The furnace has an all-metal hot zone, load capacity up to 10,000 pounds and a maximum operating temperature of 2400°F. It also includes a 2-bar quench system optimized for argon with a 150-HP quench motor and variable-frequency drive. The AMS 2750F-compliant furnace, which has a work zone measuring 48 inches wide x 48 inches high x 72 inches deep, will be primarily used for vacuum heat treating investment castings.