- Vacuum furnace
A vacuum furnace is a type of
furnacethat can heat materials, typically metals, to very high temperatures and carry out processes such as brazing, sinteringand heat treatmentwith high consistency and low contamination.
In a vacuum furnace the product in the furnace is surrounded by a
vacuum. The absence of air or other gases prevents heat transfer with the product through convectionand removes a source of contamination. Some of the benefits of a vacuum furnace are:
* Low contamination of the product by carbon,
oxygenand other gases
* Quick cooling (
quenching) of product.
* The process can be computer controlled to ensure metallurgical repeatability.
Heating metals to high temperatures normally causes rapid
oxidation, which is undesirable. A vacuum furnace removes the oxygen and prevents this from happening.
inert gas, such as Argon, is typically used to quickly cool the treated metal back to non-metallurgical levels (below 400 °F) after the desired process in the furnace. [cite web |url=http://www.imp.mtu.edu/metallic/vacuum_furnace.html|title=Vacuum Furnace at IMP] This inert gas can be pressurized to two times atmosphere or more, then circulated through the hot zone area to pick up heat before passing through a heat exchangerto remove heat. This process is repeated until the desired temperature is reached.
A common use of a vacuum furnace is for the heat treatment of
steelalloys. Many general heat treating applications involve the hardening and tempering of a steel part to make it strong and tough through service. Hardening involves heating the steel to a pre-determined temperature, then cooling it rapidly.
Vacuum furnaces are ideal for
brazingapplications. Brazing is another heat-treating process used to join two or more base metal components by melting a thin layer of filler metal in the space between them.
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Look at other dictionaries:
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