Plansee High Performance Materials, a Plansee Group company, headquartered in Reutte, Austria, has announced its latest generation of hot zones for industrial furnaces. All versions of these new models are said to save a significant amount of energy, even at maximum performance, thus lowering both the customers’ operating costs and CO2 footprint.
The industry faces the challenge of saving energy on a large scale, explains Plansee, but this efficiency can’t be at the expense of quality. The demand for high-performance, sustainable solutions becomes a complex task, however, when industrial processes require particularly large amounts of energy. This is the case for high-temperature vacuum furnaces used for heat treatment in sectors such as aviation or medical technology, where working temperatures of 1,000-1,800ºC are reached.
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Plansee supplies manufacturers of industrial furnaces with metallic hot zones made from molybdenum, molybdenum alloys, and tungsten, which are used in high-temperature processes and ensure that the temperature in the furnace is optimally distributed. The energy balance of these processes depends on the quality of the hot zones and if they are not optimised for the respective area of application, an unnecessary amount of heat (and, thus, energy) is lost.
Plansee’s new hot zone models reportedly save up to 27% of energy compared to the previous iterations, and the lightweight design of the support frame means that the new models weigh up to 15% less.
The constructions and materials used in the heating system are said to ensure that the batch is heated optimally, and issues such as short circuits or sagging of the heating element are almost impossible. Further, the heated parts of the furnace can be efficiently cooled using gas, with nozzles placed in optimal positions determined by simulations.
Another addition is the ‘FlowBox,’ which enables the smooth outflow of gas at the rear of the hot zone. Together, the nozzle and FlowBox work to ensure that the batch is cooled precisely, without the unintentional formation of further cooled areas in the furnace. Another feature highlighted by Plansee is the smart mounting of the front door which adapts to the temperature changes inside the hot zone and therefore prevents heat from being lost.
Plansee’s hot zones can be configured in advance for individual requirements via an online tool. If special individual parts made from molybdenum or tungsten are required to meet specific needs, Plansee can produce these independently via Additive Manufacturing.