Startup company Sinterpure, based in Heidelberg, Germany, has announced the Sinterpure Box, a lab retort furnace, additively manufactured from silicon carbide (SiC), which reportedly enables a stable operation at 1250°C and significantly reduces the protective gas usage for compact lab furnaces.
Until now, explains Sinterpure, efficient heat treatment and sintering of metal parts has only been possible with large industrial furnaces. For compact furnaces, the maximum limit for operating temperature was previously 1150°C, with retorts made out of A105 NiCr. This temperature is often insufficient for achieving optimum sintering densification of many metals.
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The Sinterpure Box uses a vacuum to connect the lid to the box without affecting the inner chamber. The resulting hermetic connection allows for complete control of the inner atmosphere and is said to eliminate the need for continuous flushing with protective gas to counteract gas impurity in the retort.
The company reported several validation experiments conducted using Sinterpure Box retort, in which the sintering of cobalt chrome (CoCr) parts was carried out. The successful sintering was reportedly demonstrated with the visual appearance of bright-silver shine on the parts. The absence of dark greenish appearance from undesired oxidation confirms the atmosphere purity of the Sinterpure Box lab retort furnace.