Solar Manufacturing Receives U.S. Patent for a Control Thermocouple for Vacuum Heat Treating FurnacesDecember 7, 2023
Solar Manufacturing, Sellersville, PA, has received a patent for an improved vacuum furnace control thermocouple design. The new design offers an advantage when controlling at operating temperatures from ambient up to 1200 F, especially in smaller-diameter hot zones of 36 in. or less. Using a conventional control thermocouple under these conditions, the outer ceramic protection tube acts as a heat sink. This thermal conduction, or heat loss, is compounded by the shorter length of the thermocouple assembly and causes the control thermocouple to operate at a lower temperature, increasing the power output to the furnace heating elements to maintain set-point temperature. The result is the workload temperature becomes hotter than the furnace temperature; the phenomenon is more pronounced at lower processing temperatures, under 1200 F.
The new thermocouple configuration, developed to lessen the undesirable thermal conduction losses of the thermocouple assembly, also promises to help satisfy AMS 2750 specifications for temperature uniformity, ensuring that control thermocouples operate in the proper location of the hot zone for satisfactory survey thermocouple measurements without correction factors.
The patent inventor is Solar Manufacturing owner William R. Jones.
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