Aalberts surface technologies – HIP | braze | heat treatment announces an expansion of its austempering capabilities and capacity in Canton, Ohio and Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
Three atmosphere-to-salt furnaces will be added at the existing facility in Canton. This expands the number of austempering locations in the Aalberts surface technologies U.S. footprint to four. Infrastructure will be engineered in Canton to allow for up to six austempering furnaces in the future. The expansion in Canton will allow Aalberts to better serve customers in the eastern United States and those with product flowing through the area. The austempering and marquenching equipment is expected to be online in Q4 2023.
The Aalberts surface technologies austempering facility in Ft. Smith was started in 2018 to bring its capabilities to an underserved market. In response to growing demand in the region, additional capacity will be added at the Ft. Smith plant, with one furnace to be installed in Q3 2023 and another planned for Q4 2024.
The added capacity will allow the company to support its current customers’ growth plans as well as demand from new entrants into the fast-growing austempered ductile iron market. Additionally, the expanded U.S. footprint creates redundancy that provides customers greater flexibility, risk mitigation, and cost reduction opportunities.
“We are pleased to announce our latest investment in technology to add capacity that meets our customers’ growing demand in key markets,” said Steve Wyatt, president of Aalberts surface technologies – HIP | braze | heat treatment. “The added capacity allows us to maintain our high level of customer service and further strengthens our position as the market leader in austempering and marquenching.”
Austempering and marquenching are technical heat treatments that quench iron and steel parts in molten nitrate-nitrite salt instead of more traditional quench media, creating a preferred crystal structure.
Austempered iron and steel have improved mechanical properties (tensile, yield, and elongation) and higher toughness in comparison to traditional quench and temper processes. In addition to improved mechanical performance, austempering and marquenching of components results in substantially reduced distortion, often allowing for finish machining before heat treatment and a reduction in total cost.
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