Aalberts Surface Technologies, Poland New SECO/WARWICK Furnace Line

“Last year, the Dutch branch of Aalberts Surface Technologies Heat (formerly Hauck) in Eindhoven received a furnace, operating under high vacuum, with the working chamber of 1200x1200x2000 [mm], which is not only the largest furnace with an all-metal heating chamber but also the largest device of this kind to be operated in the Benelux Region of Europe (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). Now the Polish, Kalisz-based branch of the heat treatment systems and services provider will expand its production line getting a solution that can only be described with “the most” prefix. The new SECO/WARWICK furnaces will create a production line that will be used for successive vacuum carburizing (LPC) and gas quenching (CMe-T furnace), followed by annealing (BREW furnace) to reduce the internal stress of the treated metals. Performing so many processes is possible thanks to the combination of vacuum technology with atmosphere technology.

Performance and environmental-friendliness of the CMe-T

The three-chamber CaseMaster Evolution-T is a huge furnace with 1 ton per batch capacity and an annual output of up to 2,000 tons of parts. Such a device can successfully replace 3 conventional atmosphere furnaces. It is interesting to note that this furnace has an incredibly fast cool nitrogen chamber, achieving results similar to helium and oil cooling, creating an ultra-environmentally friendly system. Using the nitrogen taken from and discharged to the air eliminates both the use of expensive and difficult to obtain helium and harmful quenching oil. This makes it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 300 tons annually. This is exactly the amount generated by three standard atmosphere furnaces.

“Aalberts Surface Technologies Heat had special requirements regarding the components and solutions used, and thus a T-series CaseMaster Evolution will replace the existing semi-continuous processes under protective atmosphere followed by oil quenching with complete vacuum heat treatment with low pressure carburizing and nitrogen quenching (25 bar!), delivering process precision and repeatability, and will probably be the quickest cooling furnace in the field with nitrogen quenching,” explained Maciej Korecki VP, Vacuum Business Segment at SECO/WARWICK. On the other hand, the BREW 6810 solution will make it possible to perform the annealing process immediately after vacuum carburizing. It is a versatile furnace that can operate between 300 and 750 °C. It is equipped with a system enabling treatment under nitrogen atmosphere, preventing oxidation on the heat-treated workpieces.”

CMe-T and BREW — a technological duet

The CMe-T furnace can replace the existing lines and atmosphere generators used for mass heat-treatment under protective atmosphere and oil quenching, whereas it ensures higher precision and process repeatability. The solution stands out, not only thanks to three chambers but mostly to the improvement of process quality results and cost reduction, twice the capacity and increased production flexibility with a compact design. The safety and environmental neutrality guaranteed by the CMe-T furnaces has become more and more important. These are among the key reasons for choosing a CMe-series furnace. The BREW 6810 is a versatile furnace for annealing after vacuum carburizing. Its huge advantage is the turbo cooling — forced cooling system, making it possible to significantly shorten the annealing process. The combination of these two technologies, that is vacuum carburizing and annealing under a nitrogen protective atmosphere ensures a comprehensive solution where the heat treatment method required for both processes can be performed immediately one after another.

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