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.
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 www.Ipsen.de/en/ARGOS, or contact Janusz Kowalewski at [email protected].