Originating in 1983 with the purchase of a vacuum furnace, Lake City Heat Treating Corporation (LCHT; Warsaw, IN) has grown into a highly regarded heat treatment specialist serving a world-class customer base that ranges from Boeing, GE, and Honeywell to DePuy, Zimmer Biomet, and Smith & Nephew. Their current equipment lineup includes seven vacuum furnaces, three Hot Isostatic Presses and three air furnaces for working with stainless steels, cobalt and nickel alloys, and vacuum heat treatable steels. The company is Nadcap accredited, a high-level qualification required by many aerospace industry manufacturers.
Investment in a new QIH 122 URQ® Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) from Quintus Technologies AB (Västerås, Sweden) that combines high pressure with rapid quenching will advance the capabilities of this shop and enhance their ability to meet demanding customer turnaround requirements by integrating the application of high pressure and heat treatment in a single system. The combined materials densification processes produce parts with improved fatigue and ductile properties to satisfy the critical performance parameters of the aerospace and medical device industries.
The QIH 122 URQ press is the third Quintus HIP to be included in LCHT’s production portfolio. Its quenching capability, with controlled cooling rates up to 390 deg F (200 deg C) per minute, makes it the first of its kind to be installed in North America. “These HIPs are recognized as offering the best quality on the market,” says Jan Söderström, the chief executive officer of Quintus Technologies. “Our presses are the only systems that can combine traditional hot isostatic pressing with heat treatment in the same cycle, in a process known as High Pressure Heat Treatment. With high-speed quench rates approximating those of vacuum cooling, this innovation increases throughput and lowers costs.”
This new HIP has a capacity of 2,000 lb (900 kg) per load, significantly larger than Lake City’s existing systems. Combined with the efficiencies of High Pressure Heat Treatment, the service provider can now offer their aerospace and medical customers shortened lead times while focusing on continued growth in production. The new HIP will be housed in a recently completed 6,000 sq ft addition to their Warsaw facility. The system features a work zone of 26 in (660 mm) diameter and 68.9 in (1,750 mm) height; an operating temperature of 2,552 deg F (1,400 deg C); and pressure of 30,000 psi (2,070 bar). In addition to boosting productivity, the press saves time and space, lowers energy consumption, and reduces infrastructure needs.
“They have been using our HIP systems for the last 25 years,” continues Söderström. “They have been a pioneer in using combined HIP and heat treatment cycles to maximize material properties. With this new QIH 122 equipped with quenching capabilities, Lake City will have exceptional possibilities to continue to supply the medical implant and the aerospace industries with high quality parts.”
Lake City Heat Treating Corporation, 2427 North Boeing Road, Warsaw, IN 46582, 574-269-9484, Fax: 574-269-2854, lakecityheattreating.com.
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