Derived from the Latin word fornax, Furnace is a heating device used especially for high temperatures. The heat energy to fuel this device can be supplied by fuel combustion, electricity, or induction heating. It is usually used to heat a material with the purpose of exchanging its shape or changing its properties. An industrial furnace, the design is such that will attain a higher processing temperature in comparison to open-air systems. Usually dealing with temperatures greater than 400 degree, an industrial furnace is used to deliver heat for a process or aid as a reactor.
An industrial furnace is designed according to its function, heating duty, type of fuel and method of combusting air. Below are the various types of industrial furnaces and their application.
Tempering: These are often used following the hardening or quenching of iron-based alloys. It is the process of heating steel to a specific temperature and then cooling it in still air. The temperature the metal is heated to decides how much hardness is removed.
Ashing: These furnaces are used to determine the amount of ash that forms after a sample is burned. Usually, materials like petroleum products, lubricating oils, and coal are used. It is used to determine the contaminants in a sample, which is produced only after ashing. Ashing is used as a pre-concentration method to determine any trace substances before chemical analysis.
Calcination: These are generally used to make raw materials for treating or to retrieve the base material after other methods. It includes a heat treatment where samples comprising of minerals or powders are heated lower than the melting point to stimulate phase transition, thermal decomposition, and removal of volatile substances.
Annealing: These work by heating up a substance and sustaining the temperature before cooling at an appropriate rate depending on the material condition. It is used to soften the sample for improved cold working, machinability and to enhance mechanical and electrical properties.
Sintering: These furnaces are used to shrink the pores nature of a material and to improve a particular property of the material like strength, transparency, thermal or electrical conductivity. The method works by developing and compressing a solid mass of substance using pressure or heat without melting the sample to the point of liquefaction.
Rotary Tube: These are circular and rotate during heat treatment. They are often used for constant material treatment as they can employ heat in several thermal control zones. These are the most flexible among all others and can be used to create a variety of materials.
Tensile Testing: These are used to measure the tensile strength, yield strength, strain-hardening, and a range of other properties of a material. They work by subjecting the sample to control tension until complete failure and acts as a test method for quality control.
Debinding: These are specifically designed for removing binding additives from green parts before sintering. A constant catalytic debinding process gradually changes binder additions into gas that causes in the formation of components with an open pore structure.
Brazing: This uses a semi-automated process that makes the metal components join using a dissimilar lower filler metal. It allows joining of simple and complex designs of one join or multi-joint.
Industrial furnaces are used globally for a wide range of applications. And with the selection of applications growing, different types of furnaces are being developed by industrial furnace company to keep up with the demands.