Heat Treating Process Improvement
Most heat treating
and other industrial processes require mixtures of reactive,
reducing or inert gases supplied to furnaces to protect or change
the surfaces of parts or material being processed at high
Such atmospheres are used widely in heat treating operations
carburizing (gaseous case hardening)
powdered metal sintering
Typically heat treating atmospheres consist of four to eight
significant gas constituents. One of two gas supply sources
typically provide the atmosphere gases: customer-owned thermal
catalytic reactors ("generators") that crack fuel and air mixtures,
or liquified gas and liquid supplied by industrial vendors.
Most heat treating furnaces measure only a single gas (oxygen or
water vapor) to control atmosphere quality. This approach always
characterizes the atmosphere imprecisely and part quality suffers.
Additional processing costs such as increased scrap and rework often
As a consequence many furnace operations consider adding
three-gas infrared (IR) analyzers to improve processing accuracy and
part quality. However, IR technology does not monitor many of the
most important heat treating gases. These gases include hydrogen,
nitrogen and oxygen which can't be measured. Also not measured are
ammonia, most organic compounds and water vapor, which are too
expensive to measure with industrial IR equipment.
ARI's LGA technology allows the cost-efficient complete
atmosphere control that has been desired, but unavailable until now.
This control not only provides the process information needed to
improve part quality, but also enables new ways of gas processing
that increase furnace production rates and significantly lower
production and operating costs.
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