HPO

Batch quench austemper furnace for lightweighting

Lightweighting is the latest practice prompting manufacturers to turn to AFC-Holcroft’s universal batch quench austemper furnace (UBQA). A recent influx of investment in austempering equipment as a way to reduce the weight of individual components has been taking place. Parts subjected to the austempering process are shown to have improved mechanical properties such as strength and toughness along with improved dimensional control during processing.

The UBQA is the leader in atmosphere to salt quench for batch furnace designs, and the UBQA design is unique to AFC-Holcroft. The UBQA offers flexibility in processing various part sizes; and features an easy-to-maintain, modular design for rapid and accurate assembly, installation, maintenance and serviceability. The system can be provided as a stand-alone unit, or with a full range of companion equipment to create an entire system. The installation can be expanded incrementally as production increases, optimizing the investment. A fully automated system is available, with process and control management provided by a fully computerized BatchMaster system.

A water injection system significantly increases quench severity, and “upflow” quench agitation provides more uniform hardness. In addition, improved atmosphere circulation under the load provides for a more uniform case depth for carbo austempering. The UBQA design has an intermediate transfer chamber between the furnace and the salt quench tank. This transfer chamber allows work to be transferred under atmosphere to the salt quench tank while preventing salt fumes or water vapor from entering the furnace chamber.

Other benefits include greater than 97 % reclamation of quench salts; modern air-cooled furnace fan design which requires no water and is less expensive to maintain; and large diameter radiant tubes which effectively and uniformly heat work for faster recovery rates. The use of high efficiency, spark-ignited sealed burners assure extremely uniform tube temperature and longer tube life.

(Source: AFC-Holcroft L.L.C.)

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