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How going “fans-free” boosts quality, productivity in heat treatment

Posted by Grzegorz Moroz | Oct 6, 2016 2:49:59 PM | Heat treatment,Metals

If you’re operating any kind of heat treating furnace, you’re probably concerned about three main things:

  1. Ensuring product quality and consistency
  2. Improving productivity
  3. Reducing costs

 

So if costly, broken equipment has got your furnace down, or if you’re not achieving uniform product quality and consistency, you’ve got some work to do. One of the main ways you can improve your furnace performance is by going “fans-free.”


What? Aren’t fans essential to circulating the air to create a homogenous atmosphere? Not if you switch to a high velocity gas injection system that delivers better results at a lower cost. 

The three points below can tell us how.

 

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 1. How to improve quality and consistency of heat treated parts

Whether you're operating a commercial or captive heat treating facility, your customers – including automotive, aerospace and electrical equipment manufacturers – can’t afford to have parts that fail.

As their supplier, neither can you.

In a conventional pit furnace using a top-mounted fan, the furnace atmosphere can be unevenly distributed, causing an uneven distribution of carbon.

A better alternativehigh speed nitrogen gas injected directly into the furnace – stirs the atmosphere much more effectively.

The result: a homogeneous furnace atmosphere that ensures a higher carbon potential and even carbon transfer rate across all product surfaces so you achieve a higher yield.

 

 2. How to improve productivity

Maybe you’d like to increase the length of time your pit furnace can run between maintenance shutdowns, or reduce the downtime associated with changing atmospheres in your continuous furnace. Using high velocity gas injection of nitrogen, along with methanol or propane, can help you do that. 

For example, if you want to change the carbon potential set point in your roller hearth furnace, it can be achieved much faster with high speed gas injection technology, by reducing the lead time it takes to condition a new atmosphere. Positioning a gas jet at the inlet actually can improve your entire plant’s productivity by 10 percent.

And when handling bulk goods in a rotary retort furnace, you can increase output by up to 20 percent, because the gas flows generated can penetrate deeper into the bulk material, increasing the rate of heating and carburization.

Another benefit: reduced soot formation.

 

Heat Treat 2017

 

3. How to reduce costs

If you want to look at where you’re incurring the most costs, one of the best ways is by taking a look at how much you’re spending on maintenance and repair. Frequent repair and replacement of costly parts is going to add up to a big annual bill, to say nothing of lost opportunities in throughput and yield.

If you want to reduce how much you’re spending to fix or replace broken equipment, you may want to consider simplifying your operations. Fans that aren’t working properly may be also causing vibration damage to the batch, retort and heating elements.

In a pit furnace, for example, going fan-free by using high velocity gas injection means you can realize cost savings, thanks to a simpler furnace lid design and less corrosion, leading to up to three times longer furnace lid life.

 

If you’d like to learn more about how high velocity gas injection and other atmosphere technologies can improve your heat treating processes, simply click below: 

 

Get Control of Your Heat Treatment Atmospheres

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