The carbon carburization process can be done in a few different ways, and it can be used to improve the usefulness of low-carbon steel. One of the more popular modern methods of carburization is gas carburization, and this is accomplished with a specially designed furnace. This furnace can help to control the process and create a much better finished product, especially if it is a high quality furnace. There are a number of qualities that can make a gas carburization furnace great, as opposed to average, or pretty good.
About Carbon Carburization
Carburization involves using a carbon source to treat the surface of a metal with heat. The goal of the process is to harden the metal. The idea is to force carbon atoms into the structure of the metal or react with the metal to form ceramic carbides. This basically turns low-carbon steel into harder high-carbon steel.
When the process was first put into use, it was called case hardening, and it was done by using charcoal and packing it directly onto the metal. Modern carburization often uses gasses like methane or carbon dioxide in a pressure-controlled furnace. There is another type of modern carburization that is sometimes used palled plasma carburization.
The Function of a Gas Carburizing Furnace
This type of furnace supplies both of the elements needed for carburization—the carbon source, in this case gas, and the heat. For this type of carburization, the metal being treated is usually suspended by a wire or mesh basket in the furnace. For low pressure carburization, the furnace will often utilize a vacuum chamber.
What Makes a Good Furnace Great
For a gas carburizing furnace to perform extremely well in carburizing metal, it needs to be able to handle the correct pressure for its application well, whether it’s low or high pressure. The furnace needs to be efficient, providing benefits like shorter cycles and heat treatment that is integrated into the manufacturing process. The technical benefits of these furnaces should be effective and reproducible, as well. With these features, the furnaces can enhance metal with less risk of imperfections that could reduce the strength and hardness of the coating.
To find the best furnaces and parts for your carburizing needs, visit ECM USA website. For over 50 years ECM has been dedicated to the study and improvement of temperature and pressure control devices.
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