Solar Manufacturing recently delivered and successfully started-up a uniquely designed vacuum furnace required by a major specialized coating services company. Working with the customer on specific concerns of their cobalt and nickel based coating processes, Solar Manufacturing engineers provided custom trapping designs to collect and isolate contaminants resulting from their processes.
The furnace was a Solar Manufacturing Model HFL-5772-2EQ horizontal, front loading vacuum furnace with a work zone measuring 36”w x 36”h x 72”d with a hearth designed to accommodate up to a 3,500 pound workload. The entire hot zone utilizes a Flexshield hot face backed by five (5) layers of ½” thick graphite felt insulation all supported in a heavy-duty stainless steel ring structure. The heating elements are a thin, durable, curved graphite design allowing for a maximum operating temperature of 2,600 degrees F.
The specialized vacuum pumping system consists of a Busch Cobra Model NC0400 B Screw Type mechanical pump backed by a Stokes 615 Booster blower with in-line traps for binder and contaminant collection. Also included is a bypass roughing line for initial pumping of the system to improve cycle times. A Varian Model HS-20 diffusion pump is also installed for high vacuum performance to the 10-5 torr range.
An external gas cooling system was included incorporating a 150 hp quench motor, a high speed radial fan and a high capacity heat exchanger capable of cooling workloads in argon gas at 2 bar positive pressure. A SolarVac 5,000 PC-based interactive control system was provided for control and monitoring of all furnace functions. The control system consisted of a Proface industrial operator interface with a 15” color touchscreen and Wonderware integrated operations software featuring recipe storage, alarm management, data acquisition and reporting functions and much more.