Vacuum heat treating is performed to alter the mechanical or chemical properties of a metal.
In general, heat treating is meant to improve the metal's properties, including increasing material strength, durability, hardness, corrosion resistance, and more.
Heat treatment itself is a group of processes that are ONLY performed to improve these mechanical or chemical properties. While other processes (such as brazing and sintering) can also affect these properties, they are technically separate processes used to join metals rather than enhance them.
Vacuum heat treating is simply heat treatment performed in a vacuum furnace. Why does it matter, and why is vacuum heat treating a better option for many components? Check it out:
Benefits of Vacuum Heat Treating
Vacuum furnaces have massive advantages over traditional heat treating methods. As a whole, vacuum furnaces are ideal for very high temperature processing, and they're built to do this safely and efficiently.
Vacuum heat treating creates higher quality products, both in function and appearance. This includes:
- Reduced distortion
- Energy efficient
- Clean, shiny products
- Increased life cycle of parts
- Adds value to components through all of the above
Vacuum heat treating is also better for your facilities and workers:
- No flammable gases
- Pollution free
- Oxygen free
- Contaminant free
- No health hazards
- Very safe
- No weekend idling
- Ideal for high temperature processing
How Vacuum Heat Treating Works
Vacuum furnaces provide a wide range of temperatures and tight control over temperature changes. This means you can get exactly the results you need for any heat treating requirement.
Depending on the temperature reached, length of time the metal is heated, and rate of cooling, the metal will undergo different mechanical and chemical changes. Different metals experience different changes, rates of change, and benefits from heat treatment.
Vacuum heat treating creates an oxygen-free environment so your metals receive all the benefits of heat treatment, without any of the downsides of oxygen contamination. Parts come out clean, shiny, and ready for use.
Every metal has a different melting point and freezing point. Each desired heat treatment requires precise control over heating and cooling. Vacuum furnaces have incredibly precise controls, and very dynamic controls, so operators can easily control temperature to the finest degree.
Finally, vacuum furnaces can quench without oil. No oil quenching means cleaner parts right out of the furnace.