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Solar Atmospheres Inc.
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Heavy Vacuum Carburizing Reduces Furnace Time for Sun Pinion
Less Distortion, Higher Overall Quality Reported
SOUDERTON, Pa.--Solar Atmospheres recently reported that it is expanding applications for its vacuum carburizing capabilities, which the company says provide bright, clean results with minimized distortion. The company used a Solar Manufacturing vacuum carburizing furnace (24-inch x 72-inch) for its most recent project, a 225-pound sun pinion that requires selective carburizing. Manufactured from AISI 4320 material, the sun pinion connects to a generator as a planetary speed increaser for a hydro-electric plant in South Carolina.
Stop-off paint, seen as the black substance on the post-process gear, was applied to the shaft to prevent carburizing and enable further machining, the company said. The gear required effective case depth of 0.090-inch to 0.110-inch and a surface hardness of 58-62 HRC. As compared to the lower temperatures in traditional atmosphere carburizing, vacuum carburizing with higher temperatures is said to reduce furnace time for the deep case depth. The vacuum carburizing process is also reported to improve the root-to-pitch ratio approximately 90% over the estimated 60% for atmosphere furnaces.
Finished properties of the gear reportedly met the customer's requirements, showing less distortion and improved overall quality over traditional carburizing methods.
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