The Evolution of the Integral Quench Furnace

Quenching is a heat treating process used to strengthen and harden metal by heating the material to a temperature above its recrystallization phase before rapidly cooling it down. There’s evidence of blacksmiths practicing quenching as far back as the Iron Age, but, as you can imagine, quenching methods have changed drastically over the years.

Keep reading to learn about advancements in quenching and how today’s integral quench furnace can benefit your metal.

Atmosphere processing

Traditional integral quench furnaces feature atmosphere-tight heating chambers that keep parts in a controlled environment throughout the heat treating process. They have a low initial-investment cost and allow for high-volume output of metals.

However, these machines heat metals with an open flame, posing a significant fire hazard and presenting air-quality hazards from carbon monoxide. They also need to be run 24/7 to maintain the appropriate atmospheric levels, which can really run up the energy bills.

Vacuum processing

The next type of integral quench furnace eliminated oil in favor of high-pressured gas to quench the metals inside the furnace. Vacuum processing reduces impurities in the metal while optimizing metallurgical properties.

The biggest downside of vacuum processing is the high cost of the machinery compared to atmosphere furnaces. Vacuum processing is typically restricted to the medical and aerospace industries, where uncompromised quality is a must.

Today’s integral quench furnaces

The newest type of integral quench furnaces combine technology used in a traditional oil quench tank and a low-pressure vacuum-carburizing chamber. Today’s models are capable of annealing, neutral hardening, carburizing, carbonitriding or performing any other heat treating process much faster and more reliably.

Nowadays, an integral quench furnace doesn’t have an open flame, so there’s a reduced fire hazard and no environmental concerns. These machines feature strategically-located heat sources to provide rapid heat transfer with the lowest possible energy usage. With obstruction-free chambers, the latest integral quench furnaces are also capable of handling much larger workloads than their predecessors.

Choose our team for your heat treating needs

When you need a team to perform heat treating on your metals, bring your pieces to J. F. Heat Treating Inc. These are a few reasons to trust us:

  • Highest-quality equipment: For the best results, it’s a must that your metallurgist uses the latest methods and technology. That’s exactly what you get when you work with our team. We used the safest and most cutting-edge equipment for our metallurgy services.
  • Services offered: Speaking of services, we’re your one-stop shop for all of your metallurgy needs. From hardening to annealing, we can do it all to ensure your metals have the desired traits.
  • Pricing: At J. F. Heat Treating Inc, we offer fair and transparent pricing, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a great deal for the best service in town.

The choice is clear if you need quenching or other heat treating for your metal products—come to J. F. Heat Treating Inc. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a quote for your next project.

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