Keith Fleming, Business Development Manager at Gasbarre Thermal Processing Systems, headquartered in DuBois, Pennsylvania, USA, presented ‘The Advantages of Sintering PM Parts in a Continuous Vacuum Furnace’ to the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) APMI International – West Penn Chapter meeting to a group of eighty industry professionals.
Fleming noted the four ‘E’s of Gasbarre – effects on material properties, energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and elevated temperatures. The presentation also delivered cost analysis, which reported annual savings using a continuous vacuum process, as well as increased process flexibility in plant operations through the ability to start and stop the furnace without conditioning.
“Our CI Hayes Series vacuum furnace is unique in that it simulates the philosophy of an atmosphere conveyor belt furnace or a hydrogen pusher furnace. Workloads are essentially conveyed through a multi-zone heating chamber under vacuum so there is no atmosphere to control,” explained Fleming.
“The heating chamber is isolated from the loading and quenching chambers by vacuum or pressure doors. The heating chamber therefore remains extremely pure, under vacuum and at temperature, not exposed to room air unless maintenance is required. Isolation from room air and humidity, and coupled with the fact that the heat chamber is not thermally cycled, results in lower maintenance and long life of the heat chamber components,” he added.