Cost Friendly Benefits of Flame Hardening as a Heat Treatment for Steel Metals

31 May 2017

The flame hardening process is a cost-effective heat treatment technique. Primarily, it’s the high-intensity oxy-gas flame that keeps project expenditure low. The flame hardens localised workpiece areas, so application economy exists right there. Next, the movable flame head controls hardening depth, which is yet another cost-saving benefit. Now that we’ve begun investigating, the budget-centric benefits are coming thick and fast, with that mobile flame head really burning away the costs.

Cost Friendly by Design

There are engineering issues to solve here and logistical problems that ride alongside those mechanical puzzles. Flame hardening technology provides an immediate solution for the practical problems and those abstract but still very real monetary concerns. Basically, that single focused flame holds enough hardening sway to heat treat parts that are much larger than that lone tool. Known collectively as “Progressive Flame Hardening,” this wide surface area process variant moves like the beam on an old television set. It “scans” along the steel sheets or large cross-sectional area of a steel component to uniformly harden big areas, material segments that would otherwise require large amounts of widely distributed thermal energy.

The Ubiquitous Heat Treatment Solution

In an age where large industries create entire cityscape-like silhouettes, steel parts have scaled to meet demand. Post-processing technology emulates that scalability by using huge amounts of heat to harden unwieldy parts. Conversely, the scanning process we just outlined does the same job at a fraction of the cost. The flame head carries out its voyage across the part one line at a time. If the workpiece is a cylinder, then the flame head mounts on a spinning armature, one that spirals down the length of the cylindrical steel segment until it’s fully hardened.

A Perfect Match for Targeted Applications

The focused oxy-gas tool is also designed to work selectively. Remember, the outer teeth on a helical gearing assembly will require depth hardening, which works out well since this white-hot flame is quite capable of transmitting enough energy to case harden a set of gear teeth down as far as 10-mm. Similarly, the cost-effective flame hardens load-critical areas and intersections on steel frames and while leaving non-loaded sections malleable. Again, the result is an economical operation that nonetheless satisfies the project specs.

A single scanning torch is inexpensive to run. The head requires maintenance, and a fuel source needs to be reloaded occasionally. The spinning machine variant costs more, probably because multiple flame hardening heads work in tandem around that long cylinder. In conclusion, however, this affordable hardening solution is versatile. It accommodates complex geometries, larger workpieces, and is controllable, so depth hardened process consistency is as addressable as any uniform coverage strategy.

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