Delta H® has delivered twin furnace systems to Ridgid® Tools to solve a challenging requirement involving rapid heating and cooling.
The requirement was to heat parts from ambient to 975°F, soak for two hours, cool to 120°F as fast as possible, soak two hours, then repeat. The solution was an innovative design featuring all stainless-steel interior and low mass ceramic fiber insulation for minimal heat retention. High-powered electric heating elements, coupled with pneumatically operated blast gates and proprietary ductwork/venting, enabled the system to accomplish the requirements with precise repeatability and total reliability as a “cold to cold” heat-treating operation.
The furnaces feature a work volume of three feet wide, three feet high, and four feet deep with a maximum continuous operating temperature of 1,200°F. Both are designed to receive baskets of parts from a nearby Ipsen Titan vacuum furnace and include a floor guide system to enable precise load placement. Temperature control and data acquisition are provided by Eurotherm Nanodac controller/programmer/recorder and iTools engineering software. Though not requiring aerospace pyrometry requirements, the system qualified as Class 2 (+/- 10°F) and features Instrumentation Type C with a load thermocouple jack.
“We had a challenge with utilization of our vacuum furnace where a secondary heat treatment might be better accomplished with a convection furnace,” said Nicolas Willis, Emerson Professional Tools/Ridgid, metallurgist/ heat-treat manager. “This would dramatically increase the production capacity of our vacuum furnace and fully optimize this process. The extreme and demanding rapid heating and cooling cycles called for a unique convection furnace design. Delta H® answered the call with a version of their high-performance furnaces featuring extreme powered heaters and radical ventilation – including door-mounted vents to bring cool air directly across the furnace load. The result has been perfect performance and we could not be more pleased.”
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