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GH Induction Heating

What is it?

Induction heating is a process which is used to bond, harden or soften metals or other conductive materials. For modern manufacturing processes, induction heating offers an attractive combination of speed, consistency, control and energy efficiency.

The basic principles of induction heating have been understood and applied to manufacturing since the 1920s. During World War II, the technology developed rapidly to meet urgent wartime requirements for a fast, reliable process to harden metal engine parts.

More recently, the focus on lean manufacturing techniques and emphasis on improved quality control have led to a rediscovery of induction technology, along with the development of precisely controlled, all solid state induction power supplies.

How induction heating works?

When an alternating electrical current is applied to the primary of a transformer, an alternating magnetic field is created. According to Faraday’s Law, if the secondary of the transformer is located within the magnetic field, an electric current will be induced.

In a basic induction heating setup, a power supply sends an AC current through an inductor (often a copper coil), and the part to be heated (the workpiece) is placed inside the inductor. The inductor serves as the transformer primary and the part to be heated becomes a short circuit secondary. When a metal part is placed within the inductor and enters the magnetic field, circulating eddy currents are induced within the part.

Induction heating benefits

Why choose induction heating over convection, radiant, open flame or another heating method?

Here’s a short summary of the major advantages that induction heating offers for manufacturing:

Maximized Productivity

Production rates can be maximized because induction works so quickly; heat is developed directly and instantly (Example >1000ºC in

Energy Efficiency

This uniquely energy-efficient process converts up to 90% of the expended energy into useful heat; batch furnaces are generally only 45% energy-efficient. And since induction requires no warm-up or cool-down cycle, stand-by heat losses are reduced to a bare minimum.

Control and automation process

Induction heating eliminates the inconsistencies and quality issues associated with open flame, torch heating and other methods. Once the system is properly calibrated and set up, there is no guess work or variation; the heating pattern is repeatable and consistent.

With GH power supplies, precise temperature control provides uniform results; power can be instantly turned on or shut off. With closed loop temperature control, advanced induction heating systems have the capability to measure the temperature of each individual part. Specific ramp up, hold and ramp down rates can be established & data can be recorded for each part that is run.

Product Quality

With induction, the part to be heated never comes into direct contact with a flame or other heating element; the heat is induced within the part itself by alternating electrical current. As a result, product warpage, distortion and reject rates are minimized. For maximum product quality, the part can be isolated in an enclosed chamber with a vacuum, inert or reducing atmosphere to eliminate the effects of oxidation.

Green energy

Induction heating systems do not burn traditional fossil fuels; induction is a clean, non-polluting process which will help protect the environment. An induction system improves working conditions for your employees by eliminating smoke, waste heat, noxious emissions and loud noise. Heating is safe and efficient with no open flame to endanger the operator or obscure the process. Non-conductive materials are not affected and can be located in close proximity to the heating zone without damage.

Using GH induction heating solutions means to improve the installation operation and maintenance, to avoid production stoppages, to reduce the energy consumption and to increase the parts quality control.

 
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Overview
Within the aerospace industry, it has become much more economical to repair costly engine components than to replace them. Our turnkey induction heating systems provide cost effective, time-saving solutions for repairing high pressure turbine (HPT) blade tips, Ti weld stress relief, brazing metering plates to dovetails and wear pads to mid-span spars, brazing honeycomb seals and other engine components, handling orphan parts and many other applications.

Induction heating is a quick, clean, non-contact method of inducing heat within an engine part . When compared to convection, radiant, open flame or other heating methods, induction heating offers the following advantages.

• Increased consistency with solid state temperature control & closed loop monitoring systems
• Maximized productivity with in-cell operation; no soaking time or lengthy cool down cycles
• Improved quality with minimized product warpage, distortion and reject rates
• Extended fixture life with site-specific heat without heating any surrounding parts
• Environmentally sound without flame, smoke, waste heat, noxious emissions or loud noise
• Reduced energy consumption with up to 80% energy efficient operation

 
 

HPT Blade Tip Repair 
Worn HTP blade tips can be repaired for reuse with a specialized welding process. Induction heating is a cost-effective way to bring the blade tip up to welding temperature (typically1800°F) in just minutes.

The pre-heat and welding processes can be accomplished in an inert atmosphere with an Atmospheric Glove Box System provided the parts themselves are very clean. Purging Systems which circulate gas through the dovetail to eliminate contaminants are recommended for applications where the parts are not initially clean.

 
 

Whole Part Heat Treating and Brazing 
While induction heating traditionally excels at selectively heating small areas with pinpoint accuracy, GH IA engineers have developed a compact induction heating vacuum furnace for whole part heat treating and brazing in a controlled atmosphere. This furnace provides an ideal environment for heating small lot sizes, parts of unusual shapes, and repairing "orphans" from other heating processes.

Traditionally, these processes have been run in a large batch vacuum furnace. But with an increasing emphasis on continuous flow / lean manufacturing, many companies are looking for an alternative to these fossil-fuel furnaces and their drawbacks – the large footprint, lack of quality control and poor efficiency of vacuum furnaces fly in the face of lean, continuous flow manufacturing requirements. Because long "soak" times are required to bring batch vacuum furnaces up to temperature, they are generally left on 24/7 whether in actual use or not. Not exactly a lean proposition!

In contrast to batch vacuum furnaces, these new induction vacuum furnaces deliver quick, clean heat for heat treating or brazing in a compact, cost-effective package. Individual parts can now be processed with speed, accuracy and consistency - right in your manu

 

Brazing Metering Plates and Wear Pads 
Induction heating can also be utilized for a wide variety of aerospace brazing process, such as brazing nickel metering plates to dovetails brazing wear pads to mid-span spars, brazing honeycomb seals and other components. To obtain maximum joint quality , these processes are done under stringent vacuum stringent vacuum (<5x10[-5] torr) and/or high temperature (up to 2200°F).

Heating an Inconel Turbine Blade Susceptor 
Induction heating can also be effectively utilized to quickly heat an inconel® susceptor for turbine engine fan blades. By using this indirect heating method, improved temperature uniformity across the blades can be achieved. In an atmosphere of argon, temperatures as high as 1950°F can be reached in less than 1 minute.

 
         

         


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