Vacuum Heat Treatment is a type of heat treatment with high consistency and low contamination.
It is done In a vacuum furnace and the product in the furnace is surrounded by a vacuum. The absence of air or other gases prevents heat transfer with the product through convection and removes a source of contamination. Some of the benefits of a vacuum furnace are:
• Uniform temperatures in the range 1100–1500°C (2000–2800°F)
• Temperature can be controlled within a small area
• Low contamination of the product by carbon, oxygen and other gases
• Quick cooling (quenching) of product.
• The process can be computer controlled to ensure metallurgical repeatability.
Heating metals to high temperatures normally causes rapid oxidation, which is undesirable. A vacuum furnace removes the oxygen and prevents this from happening.
A common use of vacuum Heat treatment is for hardening, tempering or annealing of steel alloys.