A European subcontractor for the automotive and racing industries as well as a partner for teams participating in Formula 1 races, has bet on SECO/WARWICK for the second time.
The order includes a Vector® vacuum furnace with 15 bar abs high pressure gas quenching, and high vacuum (HV). The furnace will process engine and gear components for vehicles racing in the most important motorsport competitions.
Titanium heat treatment for motorsport
This partner provides carburizing, and various heat treatment services for titanium, aluminum and precipitation hardening of alloys. These services must be of aviation quality within the most demanding timeframes required by European F1 teams.
In the new SECO/WARWICK furnace, the customer will execute vacuum heat treatment of titanium and its alloys and will perform vacuum carburizing processes for steel elements. Titanium alloys are very strong materials, but at the same time soft and plastic, which makes them difficult to machine. Low thermal conductivity and density creates an environment where the cutting material is subject to a strong thermal load and tends to harden. The Vector vacuum furnace is perfect for titanium heat treatment. The current order includes the furnace in exactly the same configuration as the first delivery.
“The second order for the same product means that the customer wants to increase processing capacity and at the same time prevent a production back-up. The vacuum furnace system which will be delivered to England has numerous options such as cryogenic processing, convection, FineCarb® vacuum carburizing, pre-nitriding for PreNitLPC® carburizing technology or low-pressure carbonitriding LPCN. It is a very efficient and versatile solution with relatively small dimensions, which makes it suitable even for smaller hardening plants,” explains Maciej Korecki, Vice President of the Vacuum Segment at SECO/WARWICK.
Formula 1 — Quality for a motorsport queen
Vector is a universal furnace. It works in many industries in over 70 countries around the world. However, the purpose of this particular model will be unique. Carburizing and hardening of parts such as gears for engines and transmissions for high-performance F1 sports cars is quite a rare production challenge compared to other typical products for which SECO/WARWICK supplies its furnaces. The product is unique due to the characteristic modifications which are necessary to help effectively meet the customer’s process requirements. These standards are very high. The goal is to make a product of the highest quality and reliability because the products work in motorsport which means the most demanding conditions.
Formula 1 sparks the imagination. It’s a unique combination of technology, speed, precision, and competition. Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, and Honda teams currently compete in Formula 1. Beginning in 2026, two more manufacturers will join them — Audi and RB Powertrains/Ford. The FIA regulations specify in detail what material a part must consist of and how it must be manufactured. Titanium or titanium alloys are used for many engine parts and suspensions because they have high toughness, strength, and ductility, and are corrosion resistant. Formula 1 car components must be manufactured precisely and safely in both prototype and small series production. The fast research and development pace and the annual rule changes by the FIA present another challenge. Therefore, it is key for manufacturers of these parts to have a vacuum furnace which will ensure impeccable high-speed operation. And that’s what Vector from SECO/WARWICK is all about.