(Received 7 November 2013; accepted 21 April 2014)
Published Online: 2014
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During the production and quality control of heat treatment, especially during drastic cooling operations, avoiding heat-related distortions is critical if relatively stringent geometrical requirements stipulated by industrial manufacturing specifications are to be achieved. Therefore, specialized distortion minimization procedures are often used, which includes: the use of clamps and spreaders for fixturing workpieces in a designated position, and/or to controlling the flow direction and flux of coolants as they impinge on to the cooling workpiece surface. In addition, some assistive devices are required to implement designed movement of workpieces during the quenching process in order to meet the technical requirements of workpieces undergoing heat treatment. Quenching apparatuses are also used to fix workpieces to avoid any possible damage due to unexpected mutual contact or collision between them, and more importantly to ensure uniform heating and reasonable quenching of workpieces. On many occasions, some specially designed accessories are also considered as quenching apparatus to form a complete set with available heating or cooling equipment. Therefore, the quenching apparatuses are discussed in this paper for their role and function both in heat treatment production and especially for controlling quenching distortion. The main principles of the apparatus design are briefly described, and some apparatuses for typical heat treatment purposes are introduced, such as core rods, quenching machines, fixtures for press quenching, copying mould for quenching of aluminum alloy structural components, and apparatuses for induction hardening, and the use of quenchant flow tunnels. The management and the development trends of quenching apparatus are also briefly discussed. Characterization by digital technology, CFD, and computer control quenching apparatus has already become an important part of modern heat treatment production, and the synchronous increases of both production cost and heat treatment quality has been achieved. The popularization of the use quenching apparatuses implies that the fundamental solution to heat treatment distortion, which is based on effective movement constraints of workpiece upon quenching, suggests the programming cooling of workpiece and the reasonable design of quenchant flow tunnel for hardening is approaching. In the meantime, quenching apparatus design is becoming less empirical by increasing the use of established quenching theory and technology.
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Jiangsu Univ., Zhenjiang, Jiangsu
Totten, George E.
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Portland State Univ., Portland, OR
Stock #: MPC20130086