Monthly Archives: September 2014

Six Questions to Ask When Purchasing A Heat Treat Furnace

Let’s face it, you don’t buy a heat treating furnace every day. Purchasing a heat treating furnace can be a large undertaking with several variables and costs to consider.  We’ve taken our 35 years of experience building heat treat furnaces and compiled the top 6 questions that you need to ask to ensure you are purchasing the best quality furnace for the best value.

We hope this information will empower you to make a sound decision.

1. What temperatures can I achieve inside the Furnace?  Generally, a Heat Treat Furnace operates from 800 degrees F up to 2200 degrees F.  High quality manufacturers should insulate the furnace with a combination of Ceramic Fiber and, Castable Refractory and Heavy Duty Refractory brick.  Linings as thick as 12” thick are used on 2200 degree F unit.

2. What is a typical Temperature Uniformity Specification for a Direct Fired Heat Treat Furnace?  A Heat Treat Furnace typically operates at plus or minus 25 degrees F uniformity inside the furnace’s “working space”. Tighter uniformity (plus or minus 10 degrees F) has been achieved on some direct-fired units. You should also ask about proprietary designs from the manufacturer to ensure optimal uniformity and efficiency.

3. How can I be assured air won’t leak and the doors will seal properly over time?
Typically, oven doors will sag over time if not engineered properly. It is essential you ask the manufacturer if they have a proprietary door design that has been tested and proven. Better yet, find a manufacturer that will guarantee their doors for the life of the oven.  If they won’t guarantee the doors, you should be skeptical.

4. Is the Control Panel approved by an accredited Agency?  Any good manufacturer will be accredited by the U.L. The U.L. is an independent, global accredited safety science company aimed at maintaining s high standard of safety in the workplace and quality of the product being manufactured. Control Panels have a U.L. Classified Sticker affixed inside. All components in the U.L. Classified Control Panel are U.L. listed or recognized.

5. Is the Combustion System rated to meet Safety Standards: Factory Mutual, IRI and NFPA 86?  A Heat Treat Furnace should include numerous safety components including redundant Gas safety shut off valves, Isolation gas cocks, High/Low Gas Pressure Switches, Air Proving switches and flame supervision with Ultra Violet (U.V.) Scanners.  Burners should not light until a purge air cycle has been completed at start up. The burners light on low fire and modulate safely to high fire via linkage and drive component.

6. Will I receive Installation/Start up/Training assistance?  A standard Heat Treating Furnace should be supplied with detailed general arrangement drawings as well as installation drawings.  Make sure the manufacturer has engineers on staff that will assist on site with the installation, training and start up of your furnace.

Depending on your requirements, there are several other questions that may come up, but we hope this helps you in your initial stages.  If you need more information, you are always encouraged to call one of our Heat treat Furnace specialists, that are happy to answer your questions with no obligation.

Click to watch video: Baker Furnace Heat Treat Furnaces


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Drones, the Future of Aerospace & Composite Ovens

The composite oven industry may see a renaissance as drones become the next big thing in the aerospace industry. Until recently, drones, also known as UAV’s, (unmanned aerial vehicle) have primarily been used for military applications. These small aircrafts have been providing surveillance, targeting & destroy destroying, collect logistics, and storing and categorizing research. Recently, the use of drones is changing as many civilian companies and individuals are using drones for their own purposes.

Drones are made from lightweight composite materials that require a sophisticated curing process, which means composite ovens must be extremely accurate. Air uniformity and temperature control are critical factors.

Today’s drones are being custom outfitted with all types of cutting edge electronics. Film making drones are using small specialized cameras that can read the label of a milk carton from 60,000 feet. Remote sensing drones can detect everything from a body heat signature to the presence of biological chemicals being released into the air. Aerial surveillance models are utilizing new heat seeking and motion detection software to relay locations for search and rescue operations and early forest fire detection. New animal conservation and poaching monitoring drones can track the movements of an animal as small as a mouse.

These aerospace aircrafts are also being used for archaeological and exploration missions. Peruvian archaeologists have been able to successfully map out entire dig site in days instead of years. Another beneficial use has been conservation as workers are able to catch and stop looters with amazing efficiency.

One of the most anticipated uses for this new tool is for disaster relief. Drones are now being built with specialized medical cases to be able to transport and deliver vital vaccines and medical supplies. Most recently these specialized drones have been used in the wake of the Philippines super typhoon to aid in search and rescue efforts, survey damage, as well as in the delivery of medical supplies.

Uses for drones are growing by the minute. Manufacturers are also open to making custom models to fit the every need of customers. This flexibility has facilitated huge increases in sales and helped to launch drones as the product of the future.

Both Google and Facebook have been bidding to purchase aerospace solar drone manufacturer Titan. Google’s goal is to increase its reach by collecting more images and to provide internet access to users in remote areas. Facebook also has plans to use the drones to connect users to internet despite their remote location. Whatever these companies have in store, aerospace drones are definitely at the forefront. With this immanent growth comes a demand for more innovation with composite ovens. Today composite ovens vary in quality and air uniformity depending on the manufacturer.

The aerospace industry will be tasked with finding the best composite ovens to ensure the drones are built to last.

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For more information on what questions to ask when vetting a composite oven manufacturer, see our blog .