Solar Atmospheres Lowers Costs with New Nitrogen Furnace

HERMITAGE, Pa. – Solar Atmospheres, a vacuum team treating and brazing company based here, is installing a new rapid quenching vacuum furnace that will eliminate the company’s need for helium and increase its production.

The 10-bar furnace, which replaces an old two-bar furnace, is equipped with a 600-horsepower blower that can process larger and heavier workloads. Rather than helium, the new furnace uses nitrogen, the company reports.

“The difference in operating costs is a no brainer,” said President Bob Hill in a statement. “To marginally harden one 2000-pound high-speed tool steel roll die in our older two-bar vacuum furnace, the use of light helium gas was a necessity. The prohibitive cost of a two atmosphere helium backfill was $1,065.”

The new furnace would allow Solar Atmospheres to fully harden the same roll for $89. Hill predicts that with these increased efficiencies and savings, the return on investment on a new piece of equipment will be significantly advanced. 

Once the furnace is installed and operational, Hill will write a technical paper detailing its cooling data, he said.

Pictured: The 10-bar furnace that will be installed at Solar Atmospheres.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.