Aluminum Billet Pre-Heat Furnaces

Billets on Conveyor Belt In-Feed Forge Press

Aluminum billets on in-feed of infrared conveyor pre-heat furnace.

IHT manufactures a line of Aluminum Billet Pre-Heat Furnaces for forging and extrusion processes. These furnaces are based on the rapid infrared heating technology developed jointly between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Infrared Heating Technologies (IHT). Rapid infrared heating of aluminum forgings can enhance physical properties, such as improved fatigue life, fine grain aluminum microstructure, and better response to heat treatment. IR heating technology also reduces energy consumption and lower production costs.

In a conventional aluminum forging application, preheating of billets is typically achieved using convection gas-fired furnaces. However, low rates of heat transfer to the work piece, along with the need to heat both the furnace structure and the work piece, mean this method requires relatively long cycle times and is thermally inefficient.

Rapid infrared heating has been proven to reduce heating times, decrease energy consumption, and produce forgings with enhanced metallurgical and mechanical properties.

Field testing of this hybrid infrared system in full-scale production setup demonstrated cost savings through reduced energy consumption, increased throughput, and improved consistency in the process and quality of the product. This aluminum hot forging innovation is a proven process and a viable aluminum forging design consideration for today’s manufacturers.

Award Winning Aluminum Billet Pre-Heat Furnaces Technology

Rapid Infrared processing of aluminum forgings has been recognized as one of the top 100 new technologies by R&D Magazine.


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