Qatar Aluminium Extrusion Company (QALEX) Switches from Fluidized Bed to Nitreg Nitriding

Qatar Aluminum Extrusion Company (Qalex, awarded a contract to Nitrex Metal for the supply and installation of an NX-1015 potential-controlled gas nitriding system configured for treating various sized flat and hollow dies used in the production of aluminum extruded profiles for the construction and transportation markets. Qalex sought to adopt new technological innovations in nitriding, when equipment and die quality requirements could not be met with the existing fluidized bed nitrider. Specifically, the company wanted to automate nitriding operations, cut gas consumption, eliminate post-nitriding cleaning operations, and take advantage of cutting-edge equipment that maximizes control of the process and guarantees repeatable results.

The NX-1015 furnace has a load capacity of 4400 lbs (2000 kg), and while this is slightly larger than current production needs, the additional capacity will accommodate future growth, when Qalex adds a second extrusion press. The precise interaction between the furnace and advanced control system allows the atmosphere to be adjusted automatically, according to the recipe and parameters entered. Integral to the system operation, Nitreg® technology is customized and pre-tested for extrusion dies to ensure optimum results of the nitrided layer, as well as to obtain repeatable results and higher throughput per die. Thanks to closed-loop control, the Nitrex nitriding system and process are more efficient, producing best results, while minimizing gas consumption and electricity. Additionally, by switching over, Qalex has simplified the sequence of its operations, eliminating die cleaning activities and decreasing maintenance costs.

The installation and startup of the new system was completed in January 2018.