Heat Treatment Processes That Require Controlled Atmospheres
There are several different heat treatment processes that may require a controlled atmosphere in order to be successful. Those requiring either an inert atmosphere or a hydrogen atmosphere include the following:
Annealing: used to soften a metal or change its microstructure
Bright annealing: performed in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen, hydrogen, or argon to limit oxidation; pure hydrogen is usually the preferred atmosphere
Brazing: when done on copper and silver, an atmosphere of pure hydrogen or, in some cases, dissociated ammonia
Carburizing: adds carbon to the surface of steel to increase its hardenability and typically uses an endothermic atmosphere
Carbonitriding: the diffusion of carbon and nitrogen atoms into the surface of a metal to increase hardness; nitrogen is usually added to the endothermic atmosphere
Nitriding: heating metal in the presence of nitrogen (usually in the form of ammonia) to increase both corrosion resistance and hardness
Neutral hardening: used to prevent oxidation and decarburization in tool steels by using an inert or protective atmosphere such as nitrogen or argon
Sintering: depending on the metallic compounds being sintered, uses either an inert/protective atmosphere or a hydrogen atmosphere
Tempering: used to increase grain size, ductility, and toughness of previously heat-treated metals
Hot isostatic pressing: similar to sintering, but performed at much higher pressures
These processes can involve a variety of metals and be used to prepare parts for many different industries, including aviation, tooling, healthcare, energy, automotive, military, oil and gas, electronics, and the semiconductor industry.
ndustrial furnaces are used globally for a wide range of applications. As the selection of applications grew, different types of furnaces were developed to keep up with demands.
Ashing furnaces are used to determine the amount of ash that forms after a sample is burned. Typical materials used as samples in ashing furnaces are petroleum products, lubricating oils, and coal.
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