Solar Manufacturing Partners with Refrac Systems for GFQVHP

Refrac Systems partners with Solar ManufacturingRefrac Systems, Chandler, AZ has contracted Solar Manufacturing, Souderton, PA and Beckwood Press & Machinery/Triform, Saint Louis, MO to help design and build a large 100 ton load Gas Fan Quench Vacuum Hot Press (GFQVHP) system for its aerospace diffusion bonding operation. Solar Manufacturing was selected due to its world class experience in the design and use of vacuum furnaces with gas fan quench cooling capabilities. The furnace chamber for this unit was built by Amity Industries, Douglassville, PA.  Beckwood Press & Machinery/Triform, Saint Louis, MO was selected to build the large 100 ton “Four Post” hydraulic press frame for the system. The control console unit was built by Optima Stantron, Lawrenceville, GA.

Refrac Systems, working with Solar’s engineering team, selected a derivative of the Solar Manufacturing standard HLF-5748-2IQ internally quenched 2-bar vacuum furnace as the base design of the system. The new system contains many new engineered designs as needed to be both an automated vacuum hot press, and to be extra versatile for making super plastically formed and diffusion bonded (SPFDB) aerospace structures.

Norm Hubele, President of Refrac Systems, states “Solar Manufacturing and Beckwood Press & Machinery are both industry leaders with robust engineering experience. We have worked closely together to design and build this one of a kind GFQVHP.”

William Jones, CEO of the Solar Atmospheres family of companies, notes “Norm put together a team of engineers to design and build this furnace back in 2013.  This state-of-the-art GFQVHP contains many innovations that will be discussed at a later time. Throughout the entire process, Norm has personally reviewed all aspects of the design and added considerable insight to the development of this unique vacuum furnace system.”

Solar Manufacturing expects to ship the GFQVHP unit in July, and final assembly, testing and startup is projected for the 4th quarter in 2016 in Chandler, AZ.

For additional information about Refrac Systems, please visit