SECO/WARWICK will deliver a Vector® vacuum furnace to one of the largest European machinery groups. The device will be used for hardening and tempering processes, and its design has been customized in order to meet the needs of a special and demanding process, which is the hardening of aviation steel.
This is the fourth SECO/WARWICK vacuum device for this manufacturer of heavy equipment. The Vector vacuum furnace on order is a proven design with the most popular dimensions for a working space, which is 600x600x900 mm.
A truly unique industrial furnace
Vector® vacuum furnaces can be used for the majority of standard hardening, tempering, annealing, solution heat treating and brazing processes. However, this equipment can always be adapted to the specific requirements of the customer and thus to the particular industry. This furnace had to be adapted as far as possible to a dedicated thermal process used in the production of the aircraft landing gear. Therefore, SECO/WARWICK engineers fitted the device with a non-standard system for subquenching with liquid nitrogen, which enables the required quick cooling down of landing gear components. The solution on order has also been expanded with a vacuum system designed with a diffusion pump. This greatly increases the system performance. The furnace is equipped with a directional cooling option and convection heating system with a specially designed fan.
“In addition, our device was fitted with non-standard heating elements at the front and back of the hot zone and hardening nozzles in the top of the furnace to ensure the optimum fit of the heating chamber capacity to the customer’s components,” said Maciej Korecki, VP, Business Segment Vacuum Heat Treatment Furnaces at SECO/WARWICK. “Tailor-made heat-treatment furnaces for metals are not common and clearly are our distinctive feature. We are able to adapt a device to the needs of our partners, so it matches specific and very individual requirements. This approach helps us to expand our knowledge, improve our products and support our partners. Thus, SECO/WARWICK equipment is operated under the heaviest conditions, in the most demanding industries, such as aviation, and constitutes the equipment of choice. It also meets the critical requirements and production standards in order to ensure that the components produced with our system are reliable and safe,” M. Korecki added.
Hardening aircraft landing gears — a difficult process requiring customized solutions
SECO/WARWICK has extensive experience delivering a wide range of vacuum furnaces for companies supplying the aviation industry. The present contract posed a huge challenge since the production of aircraft landing gear requires very specific parameters that are difficult to achieve with standard equipment. Aircraft landing gear is part of the undercarriage which, simplifying, is vital for safe take-offs and landings, therefore the required parameters go beyond the standard properties of steel.
“When creating modifications for the Vector furnace, we have used our deep experience from the production of many vacuum devices for hardening and tempering processes. This is already the fourth purchase order for a furnace from this product segment from this customer. The partner has been enjoying the reliability and performance of SECO/WARWICK furnaces for a long time. The product solves the customer’s problem with the hardening of special aviation steel, significantly increases the capacity of the existing production line of this component, and also improves process parameters, since the current devices used by the customer are not fitted with a subquenching system using liquid nitrogen. It will certainly be one of the unique solutions completed this year,” summarized Maciej Korecki, VP, Business Segment Vacuum Heat Treatment Furnaces, SECO/WARWICK.
The vacuum furnace will improve and increase the capacity of hardening and tempering processes and will improve the process economy in European plants. The device is characterized by low consumption of energy, the performance of the chamber as well as clean and quick processing. It has been achieved thanks to a powerful pumping system. The product is currently being produced and will soon be delivered to Europe.