Vertical Bottom Loading Vacuum Furnaces

Vertical Bottom Loading Vacuum Furnaces (VBL)

The Vertical Bottom Loading Vacuum Furnaces (VBL-EQ Series) are external quench, vacuum heat treating and brazing furnaces generally designed for high production commercial, aerospace, and captive heat treating shops. They are high temperature, high vacuum, batch-type furnaces with electric resistance heating elements.  Designed for heat treating, hardening, brazing, stress relieving, normalizing, annealing, tempering, sintering, homogenizing, degassing, diffusion bonding, creep forming, low pressure carburizing.

Vertical Bottom Loading Vacuum Furnaces

Features and Benefits

  • Vertical Bottom Loading design with integrated heavy-duty support structure
  • The bottom head is designed for motorized operation in/out – up/down and offers easy, convenient unobstructed loading/unloading of workloads and fixtures. The drive mechanism uses remote control operation for operator safety.
  • Gas Cooling in various pressures with up to a 300 horse power gas recirculation motor
  • Fully automated and programmable industrial controls package
  • Designed for easy maintenance and minimal downtime -work platforms and access ladders are available to provide safe and easy access to critical components

 

Hot Zone

Solar Manufacturing produces both metallic shielded or graphite insulated hot zones, depending on your specific processing requirements.

Graphite Hot Zone Construction:

  • Operating temperature: 2400°F
  • Maximum temperature: 2500°F
  • Temperature uniformity: ±10°F
  • AMS 2750 compliant
  • Survey temp points at 1000°F / 1500°F / 2100°F
  • Insulation: multiple layers of 1/2” thick high purity rayon graphite felt
  • Hot Face: one layer of 0.070” thick CFC², or other materials upon request
  • Heating elements: rugged segmented, curved graphite bands or ML Molybdenum bands, supported with a Solar proprietary design to reduce metallization of insulation materials and increasing the ease of maintenance
  • Hearth: Molybdenum or graphite and rails
  • Support Structure: insulation and heating elements are mounted on a heavy duty 304 stainless steel fabrication with heavy duty, back up shields of 0.090” thick

All-Metal Shielded Hot Zone Construction:

  • Operating temperature: 2400°F
  • Maximum temperature: 2500°F
  • Temperature uniformity: ±10°F
  • AMS 2750 compliant
  • Survey temp points at 1000°F / 1500°F / 2100°F
  • Insulation: combinations of molybdenum and/or stainless steel sheet metal
    • Other shielding materials are available depending on the application and temperature requirements
  • Hot Face: Lanthanated Molybdenum hot face increases hot zone life expectancy
  • Heating elements: rugged segmented, curved graphite bands or ML Molybdenum bands, supported with a Solar proprietary design to reduce metallization of insulation materials and increasing the ease of maintenance
  • Hearth: TZM hearth rails for strength at high temperatures

 

Power Supply

The power supply is adequately sized to properly and efficiently heat the furnace and workload.

  • MSI SCR fan cooled or air conditioned NEMA cabinet
  • Hunterdon VRT (water cooled)

 

Vacuum Chamber

  • Available in either carbon steel or stainless steel construction
  • Door closure methods include Autoclave locking ring, Pneumatic clamps or standard bolted design
  • All chambers are fabricated in the USA, using materials also produced in the USA

 

Gas Quenching System

  • The high performance, external gas quench system provides the lowest resistance, highest efficiency gas flow in the industry for rapid cooling at pressures up to 20 bar (285 PSIG). An appropriately sized motor drives a computer balanced, radial bladed fan to recirculate the quench gas straight through the water-to-gas heat exchanger and then into the hot zone at high velocity. The unique tapered graphite gas nozzles are positioned to direct quench gas at the work load for optimum cooling.
  • If in the unlikely event it is ever necessary to access or remove the heat exchanger or quench motor or fan wheel, all components can be easily serviced through the appropriate end plates of the separate, external housing.

 

Vacuum Pumping System

  • Mechanical Pump: Edwards Stokes Microvac rotary piston
  • Booster Blower: Edwards Stokes direct drive
  • Diffusion Pump: Varian/Agilent
  • Holding Pump: Alcatel
  • High Vacuum Valve: Pneumatically operated, right angle poppet valve

*other pumping configurations are available

 

Control Cabinet and Instrumentation

At the heart of the furnace control system is the SolarVac® controls and Automation.  This advanced control system is capable of vacuum furnace control and monitoring even while at a remote location.

  • All industrial controls and instrumentation are housed in a suitable NEMA 12 control cabinet.
    • Cabinet is designed to NFPA Standards and electrostatically powder coated to match the furnace system.
  • Operator Interface: High Definition touchscreen 21.5” “Human Machine Interface”
  • Programmable Logic Controller: Allen-Bradley CompactLogix
  • Over-temperature Controller: Honeywell Model UDC2500
  • Graphic Recorder: Eurotherm 6100 Series with up to 48 input channels and Ethernet capabilities
  • Vacuum Gauge Controller: Televac
  • Control and over-temperature Thermocouples: Type “S” with additional SAT ports available
  • Work Thermocouples: Type “K” or type “N”, built in guaranteed soak feature

 

Equipment and Energy Savings Options

  • ConserVac® energy-saving control system
  • ElementGuard off-line heating element protection system
  • Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) or soft-start motor starters are available in place of across-the-line motor starters for optimum quench motor performance.
  • Gas backfill reservoir
  • Recirculating Water Cooling system
  • Carbon Fiber, High Temperature alloy and molybdenum work grids
    *Additional options are available upon request

 

 

VBL Series Standard Furnace Sizes

 Model Work Zone Size (Dia. x Height) Load Capacity
VBL-57 48″ x 54″ 3,500 lbs
VBL-68 60″ x 60″ 5,000 lbs
60″ x 72″ 5,000 lbs
VBL-80 72″ x 60″ 5,000 lbs
72″ x 72″ 5,000 lbs
VBL-88 80″ x 60″ 5,000 lbs
VBL-128 120″ x 60″ 10,000 lbs

*Other sizes available as required

 

Typical Materials Processed in Vertical Bottom Loading Vacuum Furnaces

  • Alloy Steels
  • Titanium
  • Tantalum
  • Inconel
  • Nitinol
  • Stainless Steel
  • Tool Steel
  • Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steel (PH)
  • AerMet® 100
  • Tungsten
  • Zirconium
  • High Speed Tool Steels
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Hot Working Tool Steels
  • Nickel Based Alloys
  • . . . and more

 

Typical Components Processed in Vertical Bottom Loading Vacuum Furnaces

  • Aircraft parts and equipment
  • Power Generation blades and components
  • Medical devices
  • Additive manufactured components
  • Implants
  • Tooling
  • Gears
  • Braze assemblies
  • Plate
  • Forgings
  • Bar
  • Ingots
  • Weldments
  • Structural Components
  • Castings
  • Sheet
  • Tube and pipe
  • . . . and more

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