Assessing Heat Treating Equipment

Heat treatment of alloy steels and tools requires specific heat treating equipment. There are several types from which to choose. As is the case with most elements of the manufacturing process, it is always important you select the right type.

Heat Treating Equipment Types
Heat treating equipment is available in several types. These include:

1. Vacuum Furnaces – either of cold or hot –wall design
2. Salt Baths – externally or internally heated ceramic or metal container filled with molten salts. Types of salts commonly in use are nitrates, nitrites, caustics, carbonates, chlorides or cyanides. Molten slat baths uniformly and swiftly heat the material by utilizing conduction
3. Controlled Atmosphere Furnace – these may be either metal or ceramic lined

In North America, heat treating equipment, no matter what type, needs to be selected according to certain criterion.

Essential Criterion For Equipment Selection
In North America, over 18,000 manufacturers depend on various types of heat treating equipment to produce their goods made. When deciding upon what type of heat treating equipment to choose, you need to consider the following aspects:

1. Range and uniformity of the temperature
2. Rate of both heating and cooling
3. Integrity of the atmosphere

These three factors rank the highest. These, after all, are the ones directly responsible for such significant aspects of performance as quality control and duplication.

Other Considerations for Selecting Heat Treating Equipment
After making sure the equipment meets this specific criterion, it is then time to look at other important requirements. These focus on other aspects of the production process. The three major ones are:

1. Capital and operating costs – is the equipment cost-effective?
2. Environmental issues – how environmentally friendly is the equipment? Does sit meet or surpass the acceptable standards?
3. How easy the heat treating equipment is to operate and maintain – will it be easy for staff to learn how to operate? Are there any maintenance issues that require special training or the hiring of specialized individuals?

Heat treating equipment is an integral part of the process of manufacturing in certain sectors. Those who utilize it need to ensure they obtain the best possible equipment. If a producer wants to be a force in the industry, it is essential he or she looks carefully at the equipment and takes into consideration all factors from temperature range to potential environmental affects, that will influence the outcome of his/her manufacturing concern.ave