New Patent Announcement: Innovative Vacuum Gas Nitriding Furnace Design From Solar Atmospheres Increases Nitriding Cycle Speed By Fifty Percent

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Newly patented furnace design with all graphite hot zone yields significant benefits for vacuum nitriding.

Figure 1 From Solar Atmospheres New Patent

Figure 1 From Solar Atmospheres New Patent

This is a significant improvement over standard vacuum furnaces which have slower cycles, or in the case of brass, that can cause contamination.

Solar Atmospheres announced today that The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,088,328 covering Solar’s new vacuum gas nitriding furnace design. The patent, including 14 claims, centers on an all graphite hot zone design featuring graphite heating elements, graphite gas baffles, graphite fan, and graphite felt insulation housed in a vacuum chamber enclosure. The advantage of the all graphite hot zone is the combination of non-nitriding components that do not require retort tear down and scrubbing to restore nitriding constants, as with prior 330 alloy retorts. The low mass hot zone provides rapid heating, and combined with an external gas blower and heat exchanger, allows fast heat up and cool down for nitriding cycles that are 50% faster than standard brick or retort designs.

According to Roger A. Jones, corporate president of Solar Atmospheres, “This new furnace has proved equally useful for bright tempering of alloys like H11,13, D2 and bright annealing of brass alloys. This is a significant improvement over standard vacuum furnaces which have slower cycles, or in the case of brass, that can cause contamination.”

This new patent can be viewed on the Solar websites: or or through The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at It is part of an intellectual property portfolio from Solar that includes more than 18 issued patents and numerous patent applications to which Solar has exclusive rights.

Solar Atmospheres is one of the world’s largest providers of commercial vacuum heat treating services. Through unmatched technical expertise, equipment, and quality assurance, Solar's thermal processing produces bright, scale-free parts with minimal distortion. For clients requiring an "out-of-the ordinary" application, an in-house R&D team of metallurgists and scientists develop innovative, custom process solutions. Serving over 18 markets, Solar's state-of-the art services include vacuum brazing, carburizing, nitriding and advanced processing of raw materials such as Titanium, Tantalum, and nano powders. With over 50 furnaces ranging from lab sized to the world’s largest commercial vacuum furnaces, Solar can efficiently handle any size job. Headquartered in Souderton, near Philadelphia, Solar also operates plants in Hermitage, near Pittsburgh and in Fontana, California, near Los Angeles.


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Laura Edwards
Solar Atmospheres
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