Solar Manufacturing, Solar Atmospheres team on VOQ furnace

Solar Atmospheres of Western PA is constructing a 15,000-square-foot building to make room for the new VOQ furnace line. (Courtesy: Solar Atmospheres)

Solar Atmospheres of Western PA (SAWPA) understands the need to expand its material hardening repertoire by adding oil quenching capabilities. The question has been how to make this process safer and greener? The explosiveness of the protective endothermic gas along with the flammability of open oil quench tanks has provided concerns with regard to environmental, health, and safety standards established by the SHARP recognition program. In 2019, Solar Manufacturing and Solar Atmospheres commenced engineering meetings with the goal to design and build a U.S.-manufactured, safe, and quality vacuum oil quench furnace.

A new Solar 36” x 36” x 48” vacuum oil quench (VOQ) furnace, capable of safely quenching 2,000-pound loads without carbon potential concerns, will be operational in early 2021 at SAWPA.

SAWPA is currently constructing a 15,000-square-foot building to make room for this VOQ furnace line. Besides the Solar VOQ furnace, the additional equipment includes a parts washer, two tempering furnaces, and a charge car. The interconnecting 30 foot-tall-building will be completed in mid-summer 2020, making the entire SAWPA complex 120,000 square feet under one roof.