Posted by Timothy Harvard , on Aug, 2015
Vacuum heat treatment using the process of oil quenching is helpful for hardening high-strength steels. These steels include AISI 300M and AISI 4340M, for example. Several types of vacuum furnaces are available depending on your special application.
What is Oil Quenching?
Oil quenching causes steel to harden by controlling the transfer of heat during quenching. It also improves the wetting of steel during the quenching process in order reduce the chance that undesirable transformational and thermal gradients will form, as this could result in increased cracking and distortion. The quenching process can help many components to achieve repeatable metallurgical and mechanical properties as well as distortion patterns that are predictable. It is popular today because of its stellar performance results along with its stability in many operating conditions.
Oil is popular to use for quenching purposes for several reasons. One factor is cost, including the initial investment as well as the maintenance and upkeep of an oil quench furnace. The fact that it minimizes distortion in components including ball bearings, gears and shafts and performs well also makes it a top choice. An oil quench vacuum system can also control the different quench variables. In addition, when you use this type of vacuum, you can vary as well as the control the pressure over your oil. This is beneficial for extending the range of materials as well as cross-sections of parts that you can process.
A major advantage of oil quench vacuum systems is that they don’t allow water to build up in the tanks used for quenching. Rather, moisture is easily removed as the system circulates the oil, which brings it to the future. At the surface, the moisture is vaporized and taken out of the oil via pumping. Too much water in the oil, due to its particular physical properties, can cause thermal gradient increases, which may lead to staining, soft spots or uneven hardness on the piece on which you are working. Top vacuum furnace manufacturers can guide you in making a decision regarding the best choice of oil quench vacuum system for your needs.
EMC USA, Inc. offers high-quality vacuum furnaces. Visit their website to find out about all of their furnace choices.