In order to accommodate its ever increasing vacuum processing requirements, Solar Atmospheres facility located in Fontana, California recently placed an order with affiliate Solar Manufacturing to supply a large capacity horizontal vacuum heat treating and brazing furnace. This Solar Manufacturing Model HFL-84144-2EQ has a work zone that measures 54” (1371 mm) high x 54” (1372 mm) wide x 144” (3658 mm) deep and is capable of processing a work load of 30,000 pounds at 2200oF. It is expected that this furnace will increase plant processing capacity by more than 25%.
This furnace is being designed to not only satisfy the normal daily processing requirements, but to also handle larger loads at higher processing temperatures. The furnace will have an operating temperature of up to 2650oF and will be capable of achieving high vacuum. Temperature uniformity will be +/- 10oF (5oC) between 900oF (482oC) and 2200oF (1204oC).
The entire hot zone utilizes high efficiency Rayon graphite felt insulation and a hot face of CFC. Six layers of felt will be on the ring and seven layers of felt on the front door and rear heads. The insulation materials, graphite heating elements and other hardware will be supported by a 304 stainless steel ring and head frame structure.
The curved heating elements will be thin, durable ISO 63 graphite and divided into multiple trim zones for optimum uniformity. The heating elements will be segmented for ease of repair and replacement. The graphite gas nozzles will surround the workload for uniform cooling. The nozzles will be machined with an internal taper which will produce a turbulent, high velocity gas stream. The vacuum chamber is double walled for water cooling with the inner wall constructed of 304L stainless steel and the outer wall fabricated of A-36 carbon steel. The front door utilizes a pneumatically operated locking ring to facilitate positive pressure quenching to 15 psig (2 bar).
Each of the dual rough vacuum pumping systems consists of a Stokes Model 412J, 300 CFM mechanical pump and a Stokes Model 615, 1300 CFM booster pump. Deep vacuum will be achieved through two 35” Varian Model NHS-35, 50,000 LPS diffusion pumps to provide an operating vacuum pressure down in the 10-5 Torr range.
The Gas quenching will be achieved by dual external cooling systems each consisting of a 300 HP quench motor, an optimally sized gas fan and all-copper water cooled, fin-and-tube heat exchanger.
The advanced HMI/SCADA interactive control system will be a SolarVac® 5000 for complete automated processing, controlling, monitoring and recording of all furnace functions.