Nitrex Vacuum recently shipped a new large vertical vacuum furnace (VVF) to a major aircraft engine MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) facility in South America.
The VVF system was purchased to modernize the plant, meet quality standards and accreditations, and produce specially designed recipes. The company is part of a global world-leading provider of jet engines, components, and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. The customer relies on over 100 years of experience and innovation in the maintenance and assembly of aircraft engines. This was a long-time customer of GM Enterprises, which was acquired by Nitrex in 2020 and now operates under the Nitrex Vacuum brand.
“Business is booming, so it was nice to see this system begin its journey to its final destination to make room for the recent high level of orders we are receiving,” says Mark Hemsath, Vice President of Sales and acting General Manager, Nitrex Heat Treating Services, Americas.
Nitrex has many ongoing relationships with aerospace manufacturers, but COVID certainly interrupted the supply chain. This project represents the shipment of the last COVID-interrupted order.
“We are happy we could finally ship this furnace,” comments Mark Hemsath. “COVID slowed down this project as the customer wanted to wait. The project started before the pandemic. Business seems to be back to normal across the aircraft sector and new orders are flowing in. This shipment represents the end of a long winter in aerospace and is a positive milestone for our future. We are already collaborating further.”
About the Vertical Vacuum Furnace
The vertical vacuum furnace (VVF series) is designed for vertical bottom-loading applications, and is ideal for processing high-stacked loads, as well as large and tall parts like aircraft engines.
The VVF measures 84″ (diameter) x 84″ (height) (2,134 mm x 2,134 mm), possesses a 5,000-lb standard capacity (2,273 kg), a 6,000-lb maximum capacity (2,727 kg), and operates at temperatures ranging from 1,000 °F to 2,500 °F (540 °C – 1,371 °C).
The circular hot zone includes 360° screw-in Venturi gas distribution nozzles to ensure optimal cooling and easy maintenance. For heavy and large cross-section parts, an optional bottom cooling system helps to direct gas over the area for fast and more uniform cooling.
Other features include:
- An all-metal or graphite hot zone construction
- A patented free-floating heating element support system that reduces stress on heating elements and the potential for grounding and arcing
- Curved graphite or ribbed molybdenum heating elements for fast heating/cooling
- Large water jacket construction for exceptional cooling capabilities
- Improved water-cooled power feedthrough assemblies
- An external gas recirculating blower cooling system
- A quadrant design that enables full cooling control