Hot Seat

Heat-treat troubleshooting

The following discussion is not about six-sigma or even three-sigma practices. It focuses on my experience assisting a recent heat treater. The calls I...

Brazing as a heat-treating process

Brazing is a genre of heat treating that doesn’t receive a lot of attention unless it’s related to aerospace or commercial aviation. However, a...

Metal alternatives — ceramics and ceramic composites — are achieving real-world applications

Ever since iron-bearing meteorites were discovered on earth, metal has been the material of choice for making almost anything requiring greater strength than wood....

Critical and non-critical aspects of achieving expected results in heat treating processes

There have been thousands of scholarly articles and how-to books written about heat treating and its related metallurgy. In past columns, I’ve opined that...

Heat treating in the United States – where have we been and where we...

I can remember way back in the mid-seventies when the programmable logic controller (PLC) was just starting to make its way into heat treating...

Heat treating is an energy hog where three energy sources find application: natural gas,...

A conundrum exists in that natural gas, coal, and fissionable metals are used to make electricity and, in some shape or form, electricity is...

(LPC) furnaces employ strategically positioned jets, and atmosphere furnaces must use the proper fan

When it comes to carburizing or protecting parts subjected to an atmosphere, fan- and gas-injection methods become the critical factor. Vacuum furnaces have air...

Achieving low ppm oxygen levels: Pumps are slow to remove water vapor while an...

Vacuum furnaces rely on the lack of an atmosphere to protect heat-treated parts from surface oxidation or decarburization. The quality of the atmosphere required...

Exploring today’s heat-treating process involving furnaces, pumps

Depending on their specific heat-treatment application, atmospheric and vacuum furnaces use pumps. In this column, the pumps I reference refer to any device designed...

Why heat-treating equipment suppliers are unclear as to what the future may hold

It was early October while I was listening to the Paul W. Smith morning radio show on WJR when I couldn’t believe what I...

Achieving modernization in carburizing and quenching requires an overhaul of load sizes and materials...

As the effort to automate heat treating has evolved, OEMs — especially automotive suppliers —  have embraced the effort to move the process from...

Metallurgical and heat-treat forensics play important part in determining how and why parts fail

Automobiles and airplanes have been in the news recently — GM cars for ignition recall issues and airplanes because of crashes due to weather,...

An armchair guide for predicting results for LPC and atmosphere carburizing

Over the last few years I’ve contributed to discussion and dissection, and have generally peeled away the layers to discover how the LPC and...

Heat treating, carburizing, and furnaces: how and why we arrived where we are today

In the most general terms, heat treating is an atmospheric or vacuum process with applications for hydrocarbons to ferrous and nonferrous metals. The largest...

FNC and gas nitriding use in applications where reduced surface friction is a requirement

Gears are not the only commodity to receive the benefit from FNC (Ferritic-Nitro carburizing). Brake rotors have also become a popular recipient of the...

An accurate comparison between LPC/HPGQ and endo atmosphere carburizing cell

Typically, LPC/HPGQ systems have evolved into individual batch carburizing chambers with continuous prewash, pre-oxidizing, and continuous tempers. Atmosphere carburizing cells retain a complete batch...

Equipment hardware with nitrogen/methanol carburizing atmosphere and the necessary utility configurations

In the March Hot Seat column, I presented the operating cost for a standard UBQ batch furnace carburizing cell processing 3000 net pounds of...

Heat treating is all about using the most cost-effective process

Gears come in all shapes and sizes, made by a myriad of methods: forged, cast, PM, etc. Virtually all methods require heat treating of...

Like any problem, a heat-treating difficulty must be dissected into smaller parts

What follows is a true account in a captive heat treat facility with batch integral quench furnaces, one of which was carburizing without a...

From smaller cold-formed steel, gears can be cold pressed into the final shape and...

All gears begin their lives as a forging, casting, hot-rolled bar, billet, powder metal, and, most recently, directly from 3D printing (additive manufacturing). Depending...
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