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Rapid Heat Treatment of Cast Aluminum Components

Technomics received a NICE3 grant to build and operate a full-scale facility for demonstrating to manufacturers, with their own cast aluminum components, an automated in-line heat treating and quenching system. This system uses fluidized bed technology that reduces the time required to achieve heat treatment specifications by 80-90%. The process also reduces nitrous oxide and CO2 process air emissions, energy use, and water and ground pollution from sand casting. Unlike current convection and vacuum systems, this system uses closed-loop air circulation, pulse-fired burners, and direct heating of the energy transfer medium to reduce energy use by rapidly heating individual components to molecular structure alteration temperatures. Energy consumption can be reduced by 90% using this system when compared to conventional heat treating due to the reduction in process time. The pay back for this technology is approximately 1.5 years. Once the full-scale system is fully developed and automated, customers will be able to realize the full productivity enhancement offered by the system.
Lisa Barnett
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC  20585

phone: (202) 586-2212
fax: (202) 586-7114

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