Cloverleaf™ Vacuum Furnace
When you look to purchase anything in life, you always feel more comfortable when you go to the experts. Surface® Combustion has done more research and collected more application data for the use of Cyclohexane as a carburizing medium than any other company. We do it for our customers to have the confidence level that our technology will work each and every time. This innovative and versatile style of furnace is a first in industry.
Surface® Combustion pioneered the development of the CloverleafTM low pressure carburizing (LPC), hardening, oil, and high-pressure gas quenching furnace design to satisfy a growing dissatisfaction with other LPC technologies. Limitations to smaller and lighter load sizes, process gases that resulted in heavy sooting, and carburizing/hardening nonuniformity all led to our unique circular hub and spoke concept combined with the use of cyclohexane. Cyclohexane is best known as camp stove cooking fuel. It comes in liquid form which allows it to be precisely metered, injected, vaporized, and then attracted to steel workpieces. Cyclohexane has a catalytic affinity for steel, and this reaction becomes the mechanism for getting carbon uniformly to the surface of the work. From this stage, typical carburizing and diffusion reactions take placed based on time, temperature, and steel composition. After LPC, the workload can be high pressure gas quenched up to 20-bar in nitrogen using high-convection cooling in a separated chamber or it can be oil quenched in a separate unique chamber. Either option is easily selectable, and the load is automatically raised and retracted from the hot zone, rotated, and placed in the respective cooling chamber. As a further advantage for those who want to do vacuum hardening, completely separate heat chambers can be used for vacuum hardening processes only. The ingenuity of the Cloverleaf design is that all chambers have vacuum tight sealed doors which allow different internal vacuum levels and process gases to be isolated from each other while all chambers are running. There is no cross-talk between any other chamber. This was a dramatic improvement over competing technology, and it revolutionized the heat treating industry with the inherent flexibility of this design.
Other features include the capability of electric heating or indirect gas firing and hot wall technology in the vacuum chambers which eliminates the conventional water jacketed designs providing operating cost savings and equipment longevity. The patented cyclohexane injection technology provides excellent load coverage of the carburizing medium. Commercial heat treaters love the system’s versatility as they never know what type of work they will be processing next.
Automation of the Cloverleaf motions and actions starts from when you place the load into the entry vestibule to when you withdraw the load after quenching.
Gas fired or electrically heated vacuum carburizing chambers
Vacuum carburizing chambers are hot walled
Shared pressure quench up to 20-bar
Optional oil quench in loading vestibule
Electrically heated high-temperature, cell-based on PC® vacuum design
Central turret loads and unloads cells and transfers to quench quickly
Every cell has a dedicated vacuum pump and can be isolated for maintenance while the rest of the systems operate
Various carburizing gases available
Tight sealing doors enable true uncontaminated boost diffuse for vacuum carburizing
Patented vacuum carburizing atmosphere injection
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Commercial Heat Treating
Hand & Power Tools
Tool & Die
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