By Gary Thomas
A key aircraft manufacturer has placed an order with Solar Manufacturing for a large vacuum carburizing furnace.
This order was the result of a research and development cooperation between the companies to develop final process cycles for special carburizing applications. Solar Manufacturing had successfully completed several trial tests to demonstrate each process, with the help of its sister company, Solar Atmospheres.
The vacuum furnace being developed is a model of Solar Manufacturing called HFL-5748-10IQ-VC. The equipment is a horizontal, front loading furnace with a work zone measuring 36"x (width) x 36" (height) x 48" (depth). It operates at temperatures of up to 2,500°F to fulfill AMS 2750D TUS specifications and has a load capacity of 3500 lbs. The combined hot zone integrates a 1" graphite board and a 0.090" graphite foil facing, supported by (4) ½" graphite felt layers placed in a 304 stainless steel ring.
The furnace features a booster pump and large mechanical pump to perform proper vacuum operation. An internal heat exchanger system operating at 10 bar and a 300 HP motor are also included for performing faster, higher-velocity quenching of the work load. It includes a Honeywell HC900 PLC with a touch screen interface. The gas carburizing process, which includes the supply of acetylene and hydrogen, is done through mass flow controllers.
Solar Manufacturing’s Vice President of Sales, Pete Reh stated that the company is lucky to have Solar Atmospheres for assisting in researching these processes, a major reason for getting this key order.