Vacuum Carburizing LPVC Heat Treating

Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing, also known as LPVC, is a heat treating process that supplies additional carbon to the surface of the steel. Performed in a vacuum furnace, this vacuum carburizing process is designed to achieve optimum case hardening properties for various alloy materials. This vacuum carburizing service is typically used when critical parts are utilized in high-wear applications. The wear resistant surface is supported by a relatively ductile shock-absorbing core, capable of withstanding high load bearing applications. The benefits of LPVC over traditional carburizing processes are case depth uniformity, maximum case integrity, and improved gear root to pitch case depth ratios, deep blind-hole vacuum carburizing, minimal distortion, and bright clean parts. The Vacuum carburizing process prevents surface intergranular oxidation (IGO) which is inherent to traditional carburizing processes. The avoidance of IGO in vacuum carburizing increases the integrity of the carburized case for improved wear and fatigue life and may reduce the need of otherwise machining the IGO layer from the steel after carburizing. Additionally, the presence or absence of carbides can be controlled according to specification requirements. This is accomplished by controlling the desired surface carbon content of the material during the vacuum carburizing process, which has the ability to produce accurate and repeatable carbon concentrations. The accurate and repeatable outcome is a result of precise process control through highly engineered microprocessor implementation. In addition to increased surface hardness and surface carbon content, the vacuum carburizing process also produces compressive residual stresses in the carburized case for improved fatigue life. The result is metallurgical properties that provide optimal surface and core hardness for the most advantageous part performance and wear life.


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