Should You Choose a Sintering Furnace or Sintering Oven?
What is a Sintering Furnace?
Commonly-referred to as “pusher furnaces” or “walking-beam furnaces,” a high-temperature sintering furnace moves the work through on a series of boats or plates. One boat is pushed against another in a continuous train. A pusher furnace only pauses long enough to remove a boat at the exit end and add one at the entrance end. This is considered a constant push.
A walking-beam furnace utilizes a pusher mechanism to bring the boat into the furnace and place it on the beams. These beams sit analogously to a series of rails. The cam rails lift up, push forward and down, essentially walking the boat or carrier through the furnace. At the exit end, the boats commonly transfer onto a belt for the cooling section.
Difference Between Sintering and Annealing
Sintering, or frittage, compacts and forms a solid mass of material by heat or pressure without melting it to the point of liquefaction. Sintering happens naturally in mineral deposits or as a manufacturing process used with metals, ceramics, plastics, and other materials.
The atoms in the materials diffuse across the boundaries of the particles, fusing the particles together and creating one solid piece. Because the sintering temperature does not have to reach the melting point of the material, sintering is often chosen as the shaping process for materials with extremely high melting points such as tungsten and molybdenum.
Similar to sintering, annealing alters the physical and sometimes chemical properties of a material to increase its ductility and reduce its hardness, making it more workable. It involves heating a material above its recrystallization temperature, maintaining a suitable temperature for a suitable amount of time, and then cooling.
Selecting a Sintering Oven
It is important to understand what features and functionality you need when choosing a sintering furnace. Determine the right type of sintering furnace by evaluating your application, the production processes needed, and a handful of other requirements. Consider these production needs or application process requirements when evaluating sintering furnaces:
- Operating temperature
- Required size of furnace opening
- Furnace process atmosphere
- Material being processed and mass of component
- Required output of furnace
Additionally, understand operating costs of your production or application in evaluating a high-temperature industrial laboratory furnace for sintering. Low-volume productions typically use a batch furnace. You only pay for operation of the unit you use to process parts with a batch furnace. High- or medium-value productions, however, need a continuous furnace, possibly a customized continuous furnace. A continuous furnace offers the lowest processing costs per boat or component.
Sentro Tech Sintering Furnaces & Ovens
A family-owned company based in Northeast Ohio, Sento Tech manufactures high-temperature sintering furnaces for a variety of industries and applications. Sentro Tech started as a designer and manufacturer of Molybdenum Silicide heating elements and related heating panels. In 2004, the company started manufacturing custom laboratory and production tube furnaces to meet specific application and production needs.
Custom Sintering Furnaces for Processes
For unique applications or productions, consider a custom-built high-temperature sintering lab furnace. Build a custom high-temperature sintering furnace solution to meet exact specifications or requirements for your application or production. Custom equipment protects the success of your product development or outcomes of your production process.
Sentro Tech’s Sintering Furnace Maintenance
Sentro Tech provides high-quality technical support and service for our customers. We manufacture and ship products from our Ohio-based headquarters. Get the replacement parts you need quickly. We stock all replacement parts onsite. Heating elements, fiberboard installation, thermocouples and other electric parts ship at your earliest convenience.
We proudly serve our customers and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our high-temperature muffle furnaces. Contact a Sentro Tech sales representative if you have specific questions about our products or your production needs.