ACT Manufactures Isothermal Furnace Liners for Material Processing Applications

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – July 20, 2009 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) is manufacturing Isothermal Furnace Liner (IFL) products for material processing applications.

IFLs are an industry standard for the primary calibration laboratories. They are used to provide extremely precise temperature uniformity for freeze point cell calibration and for blackbody cavities. However, IFLs were originally developed for doing what the name suggests, isothermalizing furnaces. Tube furnaces are used in numerous laboratories around the world for materials processing such as annealing, sintering, crystal growing, brazing, and controlled diffusion to develop new materials that can help to solve the world’s technical challenges.

These tube furnaces are typically electrically heated through discrete electrical resistance heating elements. These heating elements have slightly different resistances resulting in temperature non-uniformity inside the furnace cavity. Heat losses through the ends are also a source of non-uniformity. These temperature non-uniformities often result in unfavorable product yields and misleading recipe development results, which can lead to product development delays.

“At ACT, we process materials in tube furnaces for our heat pipe and thermal management products. Examples of these processes include brazing of metal parts and gravity sintering of metal powders. For some materials, particularly small diameter powders, the properties of the sintered capillary structure can vary widely with the local temperature in the furnace. Variations of as little as 5°C in the local sintering temperature can result in a 50% difference in the permeability and porosity of the sintered structure,” says Mr. Peter Dussinger, Manager of ACT’s Custom Products Group that manages the IFL products. “In other industries like crystal growing and semiconductor processing, I would expect similar issues and a strong desire to have repeatable and reliable furnaces with minimal temperature non-uniformity.”

ACT has built a number of turnkey IFL systems over the past few years and is well positioned to respond to custom applications. Precise temperature control for materials processing is very important for researchers that are developing new materials and thermal processes in energy conversion, nanotechnology and advanced electronics areas. ACT’s IFL systems have been shown to provide temperature uniformity, stability, and repeatability that is unmatched by conventional electrical resistance heated furnaces and ovens. ACT engineers work with leading edge companies on a daily basis to provide thermal management solutions to challenging and often unique applications. This experience and expertise allows us to design and manufacture turnkey IFL systems at favorable prices.

“If you have a materials processing challenge that would benefit from precise and repeatable isothermal processing, please contact us,” says Dussinger. “We can supply you with an insert for your existing furnace or develop a turn-key furnace/IFL/controls package for your application.”

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