Improved Cooling Rates in Fluidized Bed Systems

In order to conserve resources and reduce unit costs of components, the market demands innovative processes and new solutions. In response to these industrial requirements, the companies PEER Energy and Schwing Technologies have developed the G4Q® process for the heat treatment of metal components.

This process consists of a fluidized bed system combined with a new bath medium (G4Q®) and a special gas fluidizing atmosphere. The standard operating range of the system is between room temperature and 1050 °C. The process offers extraordinary thermal performance resulting in a very uniform temperature distribution (< ±5 °C) over the entire temperature range even during heating and quenching. The quenching performance is shown in Figure 1. The corresponding data are from the experimental setup in Figure 2. The Ti64 parts were quenched from 1020 °C to RT and the 100Cr6 parts were quenched from 850 °C to RT.

For many conventional heat treatment applications, the G4Q® process offers the perfect solution also for additively manufactured metal parts with complex geometry. Due to its thermal properties, this process is also ideally suited for austempering processes. The G4Q® process has all the advantages of a salt bath but avoids its negative environmental effects. At the same time, during the quenching phase, it surpasses the temperature uniformity of any vacuum furnace with high-pressure gas quenching. The treated parts can transform uniformly, minimizing stresses within a component. With the G4Q® process, the two companies PEER Energy and Schwing Technologies aim to set new standards and pave the way for industrial transformation in heat treatment.