Apr 28, 2015

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Modern Day Gas Quenching has Many Benefits

Modern Day Gas Quenching has Many Benefits

When metals like steel are produced, they are usually heated and then rapidly cooled with a method known as quenching. This gives the metals desirable properties like strength and wear resistance. Quenching is a common process in the manufacturing of steel, and it must be done rapidly or an inferior product will be produced. Water, oil, or chemicals, may be used to quench steel, but gas quenching is the preferred method for many industries, and for a number of reasons.

Water Quenching

Water is an excellent quencher, and if you ever jumped into a swimming pool of cold water, you know just how fast water can cool things down. However, water works too well when it comes to steel, and it can cause it to crack and weaken.

Oil Quenching

Oil is routinely used in the steel manufacturing business but is not without drawbacks. In fact, there are two major disadvantages to oil quenching.

1. Distortion – when the steel is first introduced to the oil it takes a long time for the cooling process. Eventually, the film of oil will break down, and this increases cooling time, but it does not happen on the entire part at once. This uneven cooling can cause warping or distortion.

2. Not eco-friendly – after cooling, the oil should be washed from the steel parts, and this creates waste that is not good for the local ecosystem. The environment is a hot topic around the world, and businesses not doing their part may suffer image or reputation problems. Also, as environmental and waste regulations increase, it may become too expensive to use methods not considered eco-friendly.

Gas Quenching

Using gas to cool down steel does not have the drawbacks water or oil can cause. Gas burns cleanly, so there is no need to be concerned with waste disposal after the cooling process. Plus, gas is an eco-friendly solution for steel treatment. In addition, when gas cools down steel, there is minimal distortion because it does not affect the metal in phases, as oil does.

Gas allows for rapid quenching, and this is very important for many industries today. Many steel parts require a low degree of harden ability and this takes rapid quenching with minimal alloy content. When you add rapid quenching, eco-friendly, and minimal distortion benefits, this makes gas a cost effective choice. Many types of steel today utilize vacuum furnaces and low pressure carburizing, along with gas quenching, to create superior products and parts.

ECM USA provides top quality vacuum furnaces, service, and parts to businesses in North America. We also offer turnkey solutions for your carburizing, carbonitriding and gas quenching needs.

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