An Austempering Furnace is also known as a Hardening Furnace, and they are employed in heat treatment that applies specifically to ferrous metals.
Steel and ductile iron are the metals that are usually heat-treated within an Austempering Furnace. Steel is heat-treated for production of bainite micro-structures, which makes steel hard. Since, austempering is the process employed to harden steel or other ferrous metals, the furnace employed is also known as a Hardening Furnace.
But, austempering is totally different from the conventional quench and tempering process of hardening steel, to the extent that in austempering the workpiece that is being worked upon is held in the quenching temperature for a very extended time period.
An Austempering Furnace plays an important role in austempering of steel. It is understood that only when the micro-structure of the metal is austenite, then alone will transformation of steel happens.
It has been researched and arrived at that the austenite phase region of any particular alloy being heat treated depends on the chemistry of the alloy. But, austenitizing temperatures are typically believed to be in the range of 790 degree Celsius to 915 degree Celsius.
Thus, an Austempering Furnace, or the more commonly known Hardening Furnace, should be capable of generating and maintaining temperatures in this region for austempering to be effectively carried upon.
Further, the alloy being heat-treated determines the exact amount of time the alloy should be maintained in the austenitizing temperature so that austenitic metal micro-structure is produced along with a consistent carbon structure.
The chemistry of the metals being austempered have to be understood and they have to be maintained at the austenitizing temperatures long enough so that austenitic metal micro-structures are developed within it.
Likewise, Austempering Furnaces play a very important role when the quenching phase is taken into consideration.
In the austempering process too, as in conventional quench and tempering, the material that has been heat treated must be cooled. But, in the austempering process, the material has to be cooled from the austenitizing temperature very quickly and at a rate that would avoid the formation of pearlite.
The rate at which this cooling has to take place to avoid the formation of pearlite is directly dependent on the chemistry of the alloy itself, and also upon its chemistry during the austenite phase, that is while it is being heat processed.
Various other factors also play a role in deciding the cooling rate like the quench media used, the agitation produced, the load’s quenchant ratio, and so forth, the thickness and also the geometry of the load, and so forth.
Since these factors play a great role, an Austempering Furnace is built with great thought.
You can read more about the Austempering Furnace that we built from this article ‘Austempering Furnace – How As An Austempering Furnace Manufacturer We Manufactured One To Meet Our Customer’s Requirements’
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