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Vacuum Furnace Systems, controls and Manufacturing
Vacuum Brazing and Vacuum Heat Treating Services
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Vacuum Furnace Technology column by Dan Herring, Metallography column by George Vander Voort, Vacuum Brazing column by Dan Kay, Vacuum Pump column by Howard Tring and other Educational Resources

Manufacturers of Quality Vacuum Furnace Systems & Controls.

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vacuum-furnaces

VAC AERO designs and builds vacuum furnace systems and controls with the highest quality standards that will fulfill any of your specialized processing needs. From small horizontal units to large vertical models VAC AERO vacuum heat treating furnaces are ideal for a broad range of vacuum heat treatment applications including; brazing, annealing, sintering, hardening, normalizing and tempering of engineered materials, and specialty alloys. VAC AERO vacuum furnaces operate worldwide in diverse applications in aerospace, power generation, medical, nuclear, tool & die, research and other high-tech industries. VAC AERO’s Vacuum Furnace Manufacturing division is part of the VAC AERO International Group of Companies in business since 1959. VAC AERO also offers a wide range of vacuum heat treating and coating services and operates seven plants in Ontario and Quebec, Canada and in Kalisz and Rzeszow Poland.

VAC AERO News, Education & Training

4 hot zone orderVAC AERO Hot Zones: Efficiency, Durability, Ease of Maintenance

Apart from building hot zones for its new furnaces VAC AERO specializes in hot zone repair or replacement for all major brands of vacuum furnaces. Replacement hot zones are constructed using state of the art manufacturing technology and materials for years of reliable service. Both graphite-based and all-metal heat shield construction is available. All hot zone materials and new designs are fully tested in our own heat treating facilities before being offered to our customers. VAC AERO’s graphite-based hot zone designs continue to perform reliably under the most demanding thermal processing conditions. The insulation package for every VAC AERO hot zone is mounted on a stainless steel support ring. Whether it’s standard or custom hot zone rebuild for VAC AERO or any other major brand of vacuum furnace, our aftermarket specialists can provide you with a variety of replacement hot zones designed to meet your specific thermal processing applications!

Vacuum Technology with "The Heat Treat Doctor"

Fig 3 nlThe Fundamentals of Vacuum Theory – Part 1

As in any discipline, understanding the underlying scientific principles has profound practical implications when properly understood. In this series of articles we will review the first principles of vacuum technology and explain them using real world illustrations. Most industrial vacuum systems can, in broad based terms, be categorized in terms of low (i.e., “soft”), medium, high (i.e., “hard”) and ultra-high vacuum (Table 1). These ranges are very useful in describing the various pressure, flow, and other phenomenon encountered, which leads to a better understanding of vacuum pump selection and operation, and system operational requirements at the different vacuum levels. As shown by the difference in pressure from low to ultra-high vacuum, industrial vacuum systems must operate under an extremely wide range of pressure.

Vacuum Brazing with Dan Kay

vacuum furnacesEutectics – the good and the bad!

The word “eutectic” is one that I use in each of my brazing seminars during our discussions about brazing filler metals (BFMs) as well as metallurgical phase-diagrams, but it is also a word used in describing some of the features of metallurgical-structures within a solidified brazed joint. The word “eutectic” comes from the Greek word “eutektos” which means “easily melted”. Simply put, a eutectic-composition is an alloy of two or more metals, which, when heated to its melting point (solidus temp.), will completely change from solid to liquid at the same temperature (i.e., isothermally). Technically, theoreticians prefer to define a eutectic-reaction in reverse, proceeding from the molten state to the solid. However, I believe my description will help personnel in the brazing world grasp the general concept more easily.

Metallography with George Vander Voort

vacuum furnaceRevealing the Microstructure of Tool Steels

After we have properly prepared our tool steel specimens, it is generally best to examine them as-polished before etching – unless we are simply doing a routine test, for depth of decarburization, degree of spheroidization, and so forth. Examination of selectively etched tool steel microstructures by light microscopy provides more information than standard etchants, such as nital, picral or Vilella’s reagent. Further, the images are more suitable for quantitative measurements, especially by image analysis. Specimens must be properly prepared, damage free, if selective etchants, or color etchants, are to be applied successfully. A number of etchants have been claimed to selectively etch certain carbides in tool steels. The response of these etchants has been evaluated using a variety of well-characterized tool steel compositions.

Vacuum Pump Practice with Dan Herring

fig 1 nlRoots Blowers (aka Booster Pumps)

Booster pumps (aka Roots blowers or intermediate stage vacuum pumps) fall into the class of dry, gas transfer pumps. As a dry pump, they do not introduce oil or water into the pumped gas stream. Gas transfer is accomplished by mechanically means, that is the transfer of pumped gas molecules, rather than their collection, as with, foe example, cryogenic or turbomolecular pumps. The words “Roots blower” are synonymous with these pumps and the reason they are also commonly referred to as booster pumps is that they are mounted at the inlet of a primary/backing pump (such as a rotary vane, claw pump, or screw pump). They "boost" the performance of the primary pump improving pumpdown speed (much as a relay race in which the baton is passed from one runner to the next). The combination of Root blower and primary pump provides roughly a seven-fold increase in pumping speed and a ten-fold increase in pressure, in comparison to a primary pump alone.

Front and Bottom Loading Vacuum Furnaces

vacuum heat treating furnacesConstructed of the finest materials and craftsmanship, VAC AERO’s high performance vacuum heat treating furnaces are operator friendly and designed to minimize maintenance and downtime to deliver outstanding quality and  value to commercial and in-house heat treaters alike. VAC AERO’s vacuum furnaces are designed for rapid heating rates to very uniform temperatures at high vacuum levels and can be customized to suit unique applications such as high pressure gas quenching, high temperature heat treating, ultra-clean processing and more. VAC AERO’s high efficiency hot zones are designed for easy maintenance and reduced energy consumption and an external quench system allows for easy maintenance of the heat exchanger and quench motor. A high efficiency blower and motor combine fast cycle times and quenching speeds to provide uniform gas distribution and superior cooling performance from processing temperatures at pressures of up to 10 bar.

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