The word “quench” has several meanings. For example, when you quench your thirst you drink a liquid, but quench also means to cool something down which is very hot. In fact, “cooling down” is the purpose behind modern day gas quenching methods. Quenching is a very important process used in the creation and development of steel. Although there are several ways to rapidly cool metals, gas is one of the preferred methods used today.
Why Not Use Water?
If you have a very hot bar or section of steel and you want to cool it down quickly, you could dip it into a vat of water. However, this is not the best way to cool down hot metal like steel (which is subject to oxidation). To oxidize means to add oxygen, and oxidized steel is essentially rust. Rust is not what you want if you are looking to develop a metal to be strong and resistant to corrosion. In fact, water cooling may provide you with a weaker product which could break or fail under industrial use.
Problems with Oil
Some methods employ the use of oils for cooling down steel, and they work quite well. Oil is a good way to keep oxidation to a minimum, and it provides a form of lubrication and rust inhibition. However, many companies choose to use gas because oil may not be good for the environment. Also, some oil cooling methods may not allow steel to cool evenly, and this can create problems.
Gas Quenching and Quality
Today’s modern gas quenching processes are all about producing a quality product. In fact, more and more industries are seeing the many benefits, gas provides. For example:
* Gas is a much cleaner choice – you do not have to worry about waste which can become an environmental issue.
* Clean processes are easier to mix with other technologies and applications.
* Quenching can be carefully controlled under precise conditions. This produces higher quality products with fewer flaws, which increases efficiency and lowers overall operating costs.
Gas Quenching with Vacuum Furnaces
Quenching with gas is perhaps the most efficient option today, and when you add the benefits of a vacuum furnace, you can increase efficiency even more. For example, when steel is carburized, quenching can take place is one cell of the furnace, and this can drastically speed up the process without sacrificing quality. This is possible with high-pressure gas injection methods.
Gas quenching is clean and less expensive than other methods. Plus, when you add the eco-friendly benefits, it makes sense to consider this popular option for metal treatment.
If you would like to learn more about the many benefits of gas quenching, come to ECM USA. To check out the exceptional products we provide industry today, visit us online at http://ecm-usa.com/products.html.