Main Principles of New Processing Methods
Treated component, along with heating and handling devices is placed in special working chamber equipped with process control mechanisms and immersed in active medium (AM) or protective medium (PM) with required chemical composition and physical properties. Entire component or selected portion of the component's surface is rapidly heated to the required temperature using desired heating method (in this case precisely controlled induction heating). Treated component can be stationary, rotating, and/or moving (scanning) during processing. Complicated shapes and surface geometries can be treated with precision and consistency.
The essence of this processing method is the dissociation of AM directly in the reaction zone on the surface of the treated component during thermo-chemical processing. A gas phase containing necessary amounts of atomized performance-enhancing highly active alloying element(s), such as carbon, nitrogen, etc., individually or in combination with each other, is produced during this stage around the heated surfaces of the treated part. These alloying elements are rapidly absorbed and diffused into the metal surface to the desired depth during thermo-chemical processing, controlled by heating temperature, treatment duration and other treatment parameters, and create a protective surface layer with necessary properties. In contrast, protective atmosphere generated around the treated surfaces of the component during any heat treatment procedure, keeps chemical composition, roughness and cleanliness of such surfaces unchanged to minimize post-processing of the treated component. Products of active and protective medium dissociation also insulate and protect treated component from the environment, while significantly decrease energy consumption of the treatment process.
There are no restrictions in the geometry of the treated part. In fact, LINTERPROCESS™ and LINHEAT™ are often the only technologies that can effectively treat and enhance surface layers of certain geometrically-complex components. Properties of the surface layer and metal core can be customized for various applications by rapid and economical selection of the necessary treatment protocol, i.e. heating method and temperature, active media composition and durations of processing stages. As a result, surface of the part can be made hard or soft, flexure-strong, friction, wear, corrosion, fretting, erosion, cavitations and high-heat resistive, etc. The treatment processes are fully automated, computerized and tightly controlled, assuring high precision, quality and uniformity of each treated component. All treatment parameters and settings are stored and printed for each treated component.
All necessary thermo-chemical and heat treatment processing of a component can be performed continuously in the same treatment chamber of the same processing equipment, without the need for component relocation, equipment and process recalibration, etc.