Midwest Thermal-Vac uses the patented Infracarb process from ECM, which allows low pressure vacuum carburizing, Carbonitriding and other case hardening
applications to be done under vacuum. By taking advantage of the newest technology available today, we are able to effectively provide our customers the opportunity to utilize the latest streamlined manufacturing process improvements within our industry. This has been shown to yield increased quality in the heat treatment process and a decrease in overall production costs.
Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing process features:
No intercrystalline oxidizing.
Reduces distortion and overall size change
Superior Part cleanliness
Reduced heat treatment time
Perfectly controlled and reproducible carburizing depths and narrow tolerances.
Ability to provide a choice of the surface carbon content.
Improved fatigue resistance.
Gas or oil quenching (high pressure gas quench up to 20 bar in specialized cold cell).
Processing temperatures range up to 2280°F (1250°C).
With a 40x24x23.5in (100x61x60cm), 1100lb (500kg) capacity, MTV
can handle large or small parts.
The heat treatment cycle can be computer simulated and can guarantee the exact requested carbon profile.
Low pressure vacuum carburizing has expanded to encompass
the latest demands of the aerospace, automotive and industrial
markets, particularly in the areas of new material development. Establishing and controlling critical process parameters are essential.
Extensive development work has been done at Midwest Thermal-Vac (MTV)
to establish achievable case depths with the required temperature uniformity,
to create surface carbon control techniques thus avoiding both carbide networks
and necklace formation. Understand thermal characteristics
during both heating and cooling when working with parts sensitive to distortion is critical in achieving the desired characteristics.
MTV uses a carbonitriding process under vacuum which reveals the full potential of this technology in terms of fatigue strength improvements. Compared to traditional carbonitriding and oil quenching, the same tests performed on parts using low-pressure carbonitriding followed by gas quenching show great improvement to tooth root fatigue and overall greater fatigue strengths.
Why Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing Is in Demand. Only low pressure
vacuum carburizing allows the end user to dial in settings for case
depth, carbon profiles, surface/core hardness and case/core microstructure.
With Low pressure carburizing it makes it very easy to predict distortion
results which can then be used to achieve required properties at the
lowest unit cost. Conventional materials such as 8620, 8822, 9310, and
parts that are traditionally atmosphere carburized can greatly benefit
from these techniques. Documented savings in post-machining operations
and material stock allowances make the use of vacuum carburizing not
only practical, but very financially attractive.
Application Examples: Whether the need is to deliver
greater horsepower in smaller transmission
packages, survive harsh environments,
stand up to the rigors of
modern warfare or any one of a
number of performance demands,
customers are looking to the new
generation of advanced materials for
the solution. Some typical applications
Aerospace Sector The aerospace
industry includes rotorcraft,
aircraft, rocketry, space vehicles and
shuttles, landers and probes. All are
looking to the next generation of
materials in the design of such items
as propulsion systems, landing systems,
control and actuator systems,
stabilizers, exhaust nozzles, wing
sweep actuators, and the like. Many
aerospace clients are working with
us and their steel suppliers to optimize
their designs, manufacturing
methods, and heat treatment
processes. One such application is
in the commercial airline industry
where advanced materials
are used in actuator systems .
Both passenger car/truck manufacturers and racing teams rely heavily on
vacuum carburized components for their engine fuel system, power-train/transmission,
braking, and steering components. Most of the major automotive manufacturers
are working to improve performance by vacuum heat treatment. One such
application is transmission components, such as those used by the racing
industry. Phenomenal race results have been achieved by major NASCAR teams using low pressure
vacuum carburized transmission components using heat treatment processes developed by
Midwest Thermal-Vac. This success is due to increased rear wheel horsepower with
stronger reduced rotating mass applied through the transmission.
Industrial Sector Industrial applications
include heavy duty military
components such as transmission
gears, hydraulic cams,
valves, seats and bushings, as well
as tools, tool holders, punches, linear
motion machinery, and many others.
These components are typically
made from more conventional
The Future of low pressure vacuum carburizing Aerospace and automotive specifications
need to be reviewed in light of rapid developments underway with these new
materials. Serious consideration must be given to the use of elevated temperatures
above 1900║F (1040║C) for carburizing and direct quenching, to minimize
cycle times and reduce carbon absorption without adversely affecting microstructure.
Preoxidation treatments have been found to be unnecessary, and rules for
the use of high gas pressure quenching need to be better established and
realized throughout the industrial sectors. Once this is accomplished, low pressure vacuum
carburizing technology offers almost limitless possibilities.
For more information and full articles about low pressure vacuum carburizing please check out our Resources page.