Every metallurgist knows that an essential part of maintaining purity throughout a heat treatment process means controlling every variable that’s associated with said process—from making the proper steel selection, to maintaining the right treatment temperatures and times, to ensuring the quench oil being used is of the highest quality and void of any contaminants.
Staying up to par on the quality of your quench oil is particularly important to ensuring quality throughout a heat treatment in Gastonia, NC. Why? Well, for starters, the quench oil can collect and contain residual materials that impact the quenching process for subsequent treatments, lessening the overall quality of the procedure and tainting the finished product ever so slightly. For example:
- Residual oxide scale, fines and soot can distort the quality of the quench oil, causing it to not quench a piece of metal as rapidly or as thoroughly as it might if void of these debris.
If quench oil is so important in the process and keeping your quench oil up to a superior level of clarity and quality is equally as critical, what can be done to ensure this? Well, for starters, making quench oil inspection and testing a regular part of your overall business operations makes a tremendous difference. Some of the regularities you’ll need to think about include:
- Eye inspections of the quench oil for signs of visible debris that can be removed via filtering. Remove these items carefully and without adding other contaminants to the batch.
- Clean your quench oil biannually or quarterly to maintain a high level of clarity and lower risk of incident or impurity.
- Consider de-sludging your furnace quench tank as part of a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan.
- Check, maintain, replace and service quench filters throughout the quenching system and make sure that all are operating to the expected level of quality, to prevent debris buildups or contamination.
- Inspect the quench-oil agitation system by checking that the agitation impellers are turning and have not detached or fallen into the impeller driveshaft. If there are complications with your agitator, make sure service is an immediate priority.
Each of the above routine quench oil maintenance items are simple enough to make regular occurrences as part of your overall service plan and implementing these steps will serve to improve quenching operations all around. You’ll reduce issues with the quenching system, maintain the quality of your quench oil for longer and prevent costly maintenance items that are sure to add up in the form of setbacks and expenses.
For more information about quench oil purity, the importance of maintaining a high standard for quench oil or to learn more about how the quenching process can be improved be sure to speak with the professionals at J. F. Heat Treating Inc. As experts on a wide variety of heat treatments in Gastonia, NC, we’ll help you understand quenching, quench oils and the variables that play an important role for both.