CO2-Reduction by enhanced energy efficiency in LPC-heat treating plants

John Matthias - ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH (Germany)

One measure to achieve the demanding future climate targets with regard to CO2 reduction is to reduce the energy consumption of thermal process plants. In the field of case hardening of transmission components, low-pressure carburizing systems with high-pressure gas quenching are often used in the automotive and supplier industries. Components treated with this technology are clean, free of intergranular oxidation and low in distortion, i.e. they require only minimal post-processing, which saves costs and energy.
Due to the vacuum technology, the consumption of process gases during carburizing is minimal. During quenching, the consumption of inert gas is minimized by gas recycling. The main energy source of this technology is electrical energy, as the equipment is heated electrically without exception. Quenching, in turn, is carried out by means of highly compressed inert gases. The necessary rapid circulation of the quench gases is in turn achieved by means of electric blower motors.
The paper presents various measures for reducing the consumption of electrical energy during the heating and carburizing phase as well as during the quenching phase by means of improved process control and optimization of the plant technology. For exploiting this potential, modern material systems in conjunction with appropriate component specifications from the gearbox manufacturers are suitable starting points. The paper compares the effect of different measures in the area of process, plant and component material and quantifies the impact on electrical energy consumption and thus the CO2 footprint.

Back to Posts