Solar Atmospheres’ new Low Torr Vacuum Carburizing furnace and services are now operating at Solar’s Eastern Pennsylvania commercial heat treating facility. The furnace has carburized thousands of parts in the 24" x 24" x 72" chamber.
To retain the case hardness achieved, the 10-bar furnace has been designed with the most effective quenching of Solar’s forty vacuum furnaces. According to the company's press release, carbon presence or absence is controllable with prescribed furnace cycles. Insitu operation (one chamber for carburizing and quenching) eliminates extra part handling and furnace maintenance. Microprocessor controls enable customization as well as cycle repeatability.
Vacuum carburizing offers additional features compared to atmospheric processing, including minimal distortion resulting from gas quenching. Metallurgically, the vacuum process eliminates microstructure intergranular oxidation (IGO) in the case that, over time, can cause part failure. Improved fatigue life results from process- induced compressive stresses. An added value of vacuum carburizing is the bright, clean parts after processing.
Gears lend themselves particularly well to vacuum carburizing, the company says. The process not only minimizes distortion, but provides a uniform case depth, including gear root to pitch ratios. Other applications include gun parts and numerous motorsport components such as fuel injectors, braking components as well as drive and valve train parts. Depending on the alloy being processed, the case depth ranges from 0.003" - 0.250", with a surface hardness’s range from 58-64 HRC.