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Minimizing and Controlling Distortion in Vacuum Furnaces

ALD-Dynatech Furnaces Pte, Ltd.


Janusz Kowalewski
Managing Director and CEO

Amanabad, December 2014

Organizational Chart

Agenda
Define distortion
Identify factors influencing distortion during heat treatment
Process of selecting a vacuum furnaces to minimize distortion
Demonstrate new furnace design to minimize distortion
Validate importance of convection heating and isothermal quench
Provide useful information

General Causes of Distortion


Fast and non-uniform heating and cooling

Furnace

Stresses during the heating cycle


Residual stresses

Furnace

Phase transformation
Dissimilar metals

Part design

Material accounts for over 50% of variability. Study by Bell Helicopter and IIT
Research Institute.

Type of Distortion
SIZE DISTORTION
Total size distortion is equal
to the sum of the distortions
arising during the heating and
cooling . Changes in
dimensions are due to
structural transformation and
are characterized by material
shrinkage or expansion.

SHAPE DISTORTION
Internal stresses are created
by a lack of uniformity in
temperature during
phase transformations.

Definition

Distortion is a general term describing all types of


dimensional changes. There are two types of
distortion: size distortion and shape distortion.

Heat treatment distortions


Heat treatment distortions occur if: Stress in the Material > Yield stress of the Material.
Yield stress decreases dramatically with increasing temperature of the material.
There are 3 different types of stress:

Residual stresses (are induced before heat treatment by casting, forging, machining etc.)
Thermal stresses (temperature gradient while heating and quenching)
Transformation stresses (transformation from ferrite to austenite during heating and
transformation from austenite to martensite / bainite during quenching)
These stresses add up to the total stress in the component. They depend on part-geometry, steelgrade, casting, forging, machining etc. and they depend on the heat treatment. If the total stress in
the component exceeds the yield stress we get plastic deformation. This means we get distortion of
the component.

Size Change in Heat Treatment

Soft

Heated to
Austenitize

Quenched to
Martensite

Shape Change in Heat Treatment

Before Hardening

After Hardening

Volume Changes During Heating & Cooling

AC1
Size

AC3

MF
MS
392

752

1112

1472

1832

1472

1112

752

392

200

400

600

800

1000

800

600

400

200

Temperature

oF

oC

Temperature

Temperature / Size Correlation


oF

oC

2012
1832
1652
1472
1292
1112
932
752
572
392
212

1100
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100

E - Expanding
C - Contracting

Surface
Temp.

Core
Temp.

Surface
Temp.

MF
MS
Core
Temp.

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Time (Hours)

Metallurgical Reactions at Various Temperature Ranges


and Related Physical Changes in Steel

Stage Temperature
range
1
0-200C
32-392F
2
200-300C
392-572F
3
230-350C
446-662F
4
350-700C
662-1292F

Metallurgical Reaction Expansion/


Contraction
Precipitation of Contraction
carbide

Decomposition of
retained austenite

Expansion

-carbide decompose Contraction


to cementite
Precipitation of alloy
carbides

Expansion

Source: Carsten Jensen

Heat Transfer and Temperature distribution at liquid


Quenching
Heat transfer coefficient

Temperature distribution
2

5000

10000

15000

20000 [W/m K]

700C
750C

Film Boiling

Bubble Boiling
l
oil

Wasser
water

700C
600C
500C
400C
300C

200C

Convection

t = 10 s

t = 10 s
ref.: Stick, Tensi, HTM 50, 1995

Heat Transfer and Temperature


distribution at High Pressure Gas Quenching
Heat transfer coefficient
1000

2000

3000

Temperature distribution
2

4000 [W/m K]

Gas direction
750C
650C
550C

450C
Only convection

350C

250C

Temperature difference at which thermal stresses


equal the yield point of various materials.

400

600

Plastic
deformation
occurs above
curve

Temperature Difference, oF

300
250

160

140
120

200
100
150

80
60

100

40
50

Thermal stresses
below yield point
under curve

400
Source: C.C. Tennenhouse

800

20

1200

1600
2000
Temperature, oF

Temperature Difference, oC

200

Temperature, oC
800
1000 1200

Thermal expansion curves for several common materials.


Total Expansion, 21 oC to Temp., mm/mm
(70 oF to Temp., In/In)

400

800

1200

Temperature, oF
1600
2000

.018
.016
.014
.012
.010
.008
.006
.004

.002
100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100
Temperature, oC

Source: NASA

Example of Distortion case by fixturing

Recrystallization annealing.
Claim: Distortion
Cause: Wrong jigging

Predictable Size Change

Distortion behavior is significantly influenced by the


design of the components.
Study by C.M. Bergstrom

Material variability accounts for over 50% of distortion problems.

Study by Bell Helicopter and IIT Research Institute.

Uniformity of Cooling

Gas flow pattern and uniformity of flow


Control of cooling speed
Load position and fixtures design
Pressure and furnace design

Cooling Speed Parameters

Pressure
Gas velocity - design, furnace size, blower, water system,
ratio between load and hot zone surface

Gas type
Cooling speed

t = (V/A p c)s (1/) ln [(T1 Tg) / (T2 Tg)


Heat exchange coefficient

=c w.7 p .7 -.39 cp .31 .69

Material
- shape
- weight
- material
- production
- specifications

Furnace
- horizontal
- vertical
- internal
- external
- hot zone
- heating
elements

Metallurgy
Production
Cost

-gas type (Argon, Nitrogen, Helium)


-gas mixture (Nitrogen / Helium / Hydrogen)
-gas flow and pressure ( velocity ,
direction)
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Cooling Gas

Factors causing distortion during


heat treatment process
Speed and uniformity of heating
Speed and uniformity of cooling

Fixtures, baskets and load configuration

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Increase Uniformity of Heating


Convection Heating
Cylindrical Hot Zone
Wide Bend Heating Elements
Insulation
Working Thermocouple Location
and Control
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CONVECTION
CONVECTION
CONVECTION
MIN. DISTORTION

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COST

From ambient temperature to 1400F

MIN. DISTORTION

Influence of heating method on changes in shape and dim


160
C
H
A
N
G
E
m

140
120
100
80
60
40

20
0
Out-of roundness
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CONVECTION

Out-of-flatness
RADIATION

Source: Altena

Uniformity of Cooling

Gas flow pattern and uniformity of flow


Control of cooling speed
Load position and fixtures design
Pressure and furnace design

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Cooling Speed Parameters

Pressure
Gas velocity - design, furnace size, blower, water
system, ratio between load and hot zone surface
Gas type
Cooling speed
t = (V/A p c)s (1/) ln [(T1 Tg) / (T2 Tg)
Heat exchange coefficient
=c w.7 p .7 -.39 cp .31 .69
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Vacuum Furnace Schematic

Hot Zone

Heat
Exchanger
Quench
Motor

Quench Fan

Charge/ Load

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External Cooling

External heat exchanger


Heat
Exchanger

Radiation
Shields

External fan

Cooling
Blower

Isolation Valve
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Influence of cooling gas pressure and loading on change


shape and dimension (Source: Study by Altna, Stola and Klima)
150

C
H
A
N
G
E

100

50

m
0

Out-of-roundness
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15 Bar / Horizontal

Out-of-flatness

10 Bar / Horizontal

15 Bar / Vertical

Load Configuration

Space between parts / load density


Grouping of similar parts
Gas flow restriction
Part placement
Parts hanging and type of fixturing
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Distortion Control continue


Use convection heating from ambient to 1400F
Use isothermal quench process
H-13 hold at 1200F and 1560F to allow for equalization of temperature (T 100F at 1200F
and T 80F at 1560F) and use isothermal quench.
Stack or hang long parts vertically
Use the right pressure to minimize distortion
Group or tie together similar parts

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Distortion Control
Control temperature uniformity during the phase transformation.
Heat up the parts uniformly up to to stress reliving temperature within +/- 80F until the stress relief
temperature is reached.
Use properly designed fixtures with tolerance for thermal expansion. (Graphite best/Inconnel good)
Use smart loading dummy parts, shields, low gage fixtures, baskets and grid made from low
expansion material. (Graphite or CFC material)

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Summary
Optimized LPC & HPGQ process
-application of convective heating
-application of Dynamic / Reversing
Quenching and choose Helium as quench-gas

Quench Cell design


- uniform gas flow pattern

Low distortion heat treatment


of transmission components

Fixture design
- Optimized mech. support of components
and optimized gas flow pattern in the load

Stable manufact. chain before


heat treat
- Low level of residual stress in
components before heat treatment

THANK YOU
Janusz Kowalewski
janusz@dynatechfurnaces.com

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