Record Gas Quenching Speeds Achieved in Ipsen’s ARGOS Heat-Treating System

Kleve, Germany – Ipsen’s Global Development Team recently celebrated the first build and testing of the ARGOS heat-treating system. The ARGOS uses low-pressure carburizing (AvaC®) in combination with 20-bar nitrogen quenching to provide metallurgical properties never before seen in gas quenching systems – even those utilizing 20-bar helium quenching.

The ARGOS is likely the fastest inert gas quench furnace in the world.

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This initial test was performed on one of the most difficult to quench vacuum carburized components: layshafts for large gears. Until now, helium gas, which is both expensive and declining in availability, was required to fully transform parts with very high cross-sectional thicknesses.

Test outcomes showed that the shafts processed in the ARGOS system with 20-bar nitrogen quenching achieved higher surface hardness and core hardness values than shafts processed in the existing vacuum heat-treating furnaces that use 20-bar helium quenching.

The ARGOS heat-treating system also offers several benefits, including:

  • Flexible installation with a selectable number of carburizing, nitriding, subzero and high vacuum process chambers with a nitrogen gas and/or oil quench module  
  • Excellent temperature uniformity during heating and cooling
  • Minimal and controllable distortion due to temperature homogeneity throughout the entire load and the reversible gas flow during cooling
  • Extremely high gas velocity and volume due to Ipsen’s unique cooling system design

Overall, the ARGOS furnace line represents a significant milestone in the growing trend to operate low-pressure carburizing (LPC) lines in combination with inert gas quenching. For more information on the ARGOS heat-treating system and this industry breakthrough, visit, or contact Janusz Kowalewski at [email protected].

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