Innovative de-binder furnaces have rapid cooling feature
Lenton has completed an order for three custom-built furnaces with fast cooling performance for
heat-treating powder injection moulded components in controlled atmospheres at temperatures up to 1000°C.

The furnaces, which have been built for Singapore-based Solid Micron Technologies, are designed
for burning off binders in injection-moulded components at between 400°C and 500°C and then
sintering them at approximately 1000°C. The accelerated cooling system has been included in order
to reduce the complete processing cycle to eight hours and maximise throughput.

The furnaces have cylindrical gas-tight stainless steel retorts with capacities
of 170, 340 and 510 litres which are fed with nitrogen gas throughout the heating process to prevent oxidisation of the components. Three-zone heating control ensures uniform and consistent temperatures throughout the retorts

After-burners are fitted to minimise exhaust emissions to atmosphere, and all electrical equipment has been designed for operation in ambient temperatures from 34°C to 40°C and relative humidity of 98 per cent.

In order to accelerate the cooling phase of each cycle, Lenton has supplied a heat exchanger that can be moved between the furnaces and used to force-cool the hot nitrogen gas, which is then circulated within the retorts. This system has reduced cooling times from about six hours (in the case of a full load in the largest furnace) to about three hours, allowing a full cycle to be completed in a single shift.
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