This article looks at ways our means of transportation – how we get from here to there – are heat treated. We start with aerospace and then consider vehicular transportation followed by manual propulsion.
Automation within forges and heat-treating facilities often consists of individually controlled processes for individual pieces of equipment, such as furnace heating or press operation cycles. Individual processes can be controlled at a Level I protocol. Full cell automation consolidates these automated steps and implements a central Level II control system, which is designed using a combination of Windows services and model-view-controller (MVC) architecture.
SECO/WARWICK will deliver two vacuum furnaces to Flansch-Tech, a specialist in aluminum and steel forging, in Budapest. According to SECO/WARWICK, one of the vacuum furnaces will be the largest in Hungary. The Vector with horizontal charge loading is equipped with a 15-bar nitrogen cooling gas-pressure system and a production work area of 900 mm wide x 900 mm high x 1,200 mm long). It will be used for the heat treatment of tool steels – mostly dedicated to hardening and tempering – and will allow Flansch-Tech to process larger parts.
Andritz received an order from Allegro, a subsidiary of Evraz and RailService established to produce train wheels in Russia, for a complete production line for train wheels. The production process includes several stages. Blanks produced by Evraz are heated to 2282°F (1250°C) in a rotary-hearth furnace, then descaled and pre-formed in a hydraulic press with 10,000 tons of press force. The blanks are then rolled in a wheel-rolling machine developed by Schuler and forged into a finished product in a crimping and piercing press with 5,000 tons of press force. This is followed by a geometric test in a laser measuring system and permanent marking in a marking press. Finally, the wheels undergo heat treatment, and the running surfaces are hardened.
Forge shops can increase productivity and reduce costs in hot-forging and heat-treatment processes using synthetic lubricants and/or protective coatings. Hard coatings cold-welded onto high-wear areas of dies or anti-oxidation coatings painted directly onto forging billets can help.
Protective coatings continue to play a major role in increasing productivity and reducing costs in hot forging and heat treatment. This paper presents details and successful case studies of three such protective coatings.
Sheffield Forgemasters will lead a consortium of partners in a research-and-development project to explore the industrialization of electron-beam welding (EBW) in civil nuclear assemblies, with the potential to integrate welding into the manufacturing process. The Sheffield, U.K., company will install an electron-beam welder capable of welding 3-meter-diameter cylinders under localized vacuum and without traditional welding preparation, offering narrower welds than traditional methods plus the ability to weld as part of the manufacturing process, prior to quality heat treatment. It will then manufacture a civil nuclear component to demonstrate a full-sized (4.3 meters high x 3 meters diameter) small modular reactor pressure vessel and also produce several grades of steel alloys suitable for civil fission and fusion nuclear applications within the project's research element.
Premier Forge Group, a portfolio company of Wynnchurch Capital, acquired California Amforge Corp. Located in Azusa, Calif., Amforge manufactures closed-die, upset and rolled-ring forgings for the aerospace, defense and oil-and-gas industries. The company supplies critical components for both fixed and rotary wing aircraft and engines in military and civil applications. Located in Portland, Ind., and Lebanon, Ky., Premier Forge provides high-value, complex forgings for OEMs in a range of markets. The company’s capabilities include comprehensive forging processes complemented by in-house design and engineering, product machining and heat-treating services.