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laboratory scale carburizing furnace


Farrah Loe
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Look for a lab-grade muffle furnace.  I see those from time to time, about the size of a large suitcase.

 

Or maybe a small heat treat kiln?  For carburizing, the container for the sample is more important than the furnace. 

 

What exactly are you trying to do?  That may help find you the furnace you're looking for. 

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We have small resistance furnace in our lab also a atmosphere controlled furnace. I was wondering can I build a setup to use conventional or atm controlled furnace to gas carburize steel? The carburizing would be in small scale for research.

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Got it.  You've gone past my range of expertise, but hopefully one of our other members can chime in.  Specifically Tim Gunn (not the fashion guy!) or Jerrod Miller. That said, it seems like the atmosphere controlled furnace should be able to do gas carburizing, and even nitriding.  

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I've been thinking about this one since I saw it this morning.  I have used quartz structures to house metal in and flow Ar, N, or CO2 through for annealing cycles and such.  In this case it was a matter of a tube shaped oven (much like a propane forge in geometry) with a much longer quartz tube running through it.  Push the metal to the middle, plug both ends with a little refractory wool with a rubber tube in and a tube out, and purge gas through the quartz tube (putting the outlet rubber tube in a bucket of water lets you watch the bubbles to ensure your gas is still going through the system).  Whenever I have done carburizing I have used the "seal it in a canister packed with a bunch of graphite" version (AKA Pack Carburizing), not gas.  Gas carburization utilizes atmospheres that are both toxic and highly inflammable.  When combined with air (oxygen) this can lead to explosions.  

 

The closest I have ever wanted to get to this is actually just running a rather rich furnace environment in a gas-fired furnace.  I have tried adding a bunch of charcoal (not very effective).  Industrial heat treat ovens generally run fairly oxidizing (like 30% excess air), so I have always wanted to add one more burner near the parts that burns fairly "inefficiently" (i.e. very rich, possibly just gas added, no air) to shroud the parts in a rich environment and have the excess air from the other burners finish the combustion of that gas.  My goal in this would be to reduce or even eliminate oxidation/scale, not carburization.  

 

My recommendation would be to talk to furnace manufacturers to see what they would recommend for equipment to either modify current ovens or to possibly buy a new (at least to you) oven for your trials.  

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