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Souderton, PA, United States

Jones T.M.,Solar Atmospheres Inc.
ASM International - 27th Heat Treating Society Conference 2013

A vacuum-purge gas nitriding furnace was modified to develop a process and a furnace enhancement to produce a controlled in situ oxide layer on the surfaces of steel parts using various oxidation techniques. The process is an effective alternative to conventional grit blasting of materials as a means of surface preparation for uniform and consistent nitriding results. Pre-oxidation is known to enhance receptivity of steel part surfaces to the effects of nitriding, and in situ oxidation is inherently efficient and economical. Topics discussed include the type of oxidizing carrier used in the furnace, practical methods used to control the oxidation, and a gas delivery system developed to inject gases with an elevated dew point for the purpose of providing a controlled oxidizing atmosphere. Comparative tests with other activation techniques, and results with no activation, will be discussed along with approaches to technical process difficulties encountered. Copyright © 2013 ASM International®. All rights reserved. Source

Jones R.A.,Solar Atmospheres Inc.
ASM International - 28th Heat Treating Society Conference, HEAT TREATING 2015

Inherent to any paper-based maintenance system is the possibility of error. Input errors and failure to carry out tasks in a timely way are unfortunate aspects of such a system. Paperwork can only be accessed from one location, and it can be lost. Routine, planned tasks such as calibration can be overlooked. Improved maintenance, accurate records, and enhanced communication are worthwhile goals because they give an improved result for our customers, and they allow us to get maximum usefulness from valuable equipment. Use of digital, automated maintenance record-keeping and reminder systems gives increased assurance that we are up-to-date in this critical area of vacuum heat treating. © 2015 ASM International®. Source

Hill B.,Solar Atmospheres Inc.
Manufacturing Engineering

The article introduces readers to the technical world of vacuum heat treating and why vacuum thermal processing is vital to the aerospace and defense industries. Parts are broadly categorized as engine parts and structural parts. Critical parts are found in jet engines where turbines, stators, vanes, and other engine parts are exposed to extremely high operating temperatures for sustained periods of time. Today's commercial aerospace engineers are making greater use of composite technology in airframes and primary structures. Titanium is both chemically and thermodynamically very reactive. At elevated temperatures, titanium will absorb hydrogen if present. As titanium is an expensive metal, more people are looking at recycling. With subtractive manufacturing, frequently 80% of the original metal stock ends up as scrap and needs to be recycled. Source

Jones T.,Solar Atmospheres Inc. | Fradette R.J.,Solar Atmospheres Inc.
Advanced Materials and Processes

Researchers show how residual gas analyzer (RGA) determines differences in graphite and all-metal hot zone vacuum operation. Residual gas analysis shows that graphite is more economical than all-metal design and is capable of producing contamination-free surfaces. RGA is a type of mass spectrometer that can detect atomic mass in the range of 1 to 300, but is used in the 1 to 50 range. The RGA provides a semi-quantitative measurement of remaining gases in a vacuum system, comparing relative amounts of residual gases remaining in the system instead of providing absolute values. Source

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