External Water Cooling Systems: Protecting Your Vacuum Furnace Investment with the Right Equipment

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If you have one or more vacuum furnaces at your facility, you have already been through the process of selecting the appropriate external water cooling system. But if you are planning your first vacuum furnace purchase or are considering a replacement system, there are some important factors to consider.

Water is necessary and critical for the protection and operation of your heat treatment equipment. During a furnace cycle, water flows through the jacketed space within the vacuum chamber walls, keeping the vessel’s inner wall safely below the maximum temperature of 300 °F (148 °C). A proper water cooling system and maintenance plan prevent high temperatures from causing extensive damage to your furnace. In most cases, it is also important that the water be treated and filtered to keep impurities from building up in the system.

There are two main configurations for water cooling systems: open and closed. In an Open System, the coolant water is exposed to air at sight drains or a cooling tower. A Closed System, however, does not have environmental exposure at these areas. The combination Open/Closed System is the most common water cooling system used in heat treatment facilities because of its efficient design that minimizes waste and reduces water treatment costs.

This infographic outlines specifications for the water and supply system that must be met in order to protect your equipment. It also takes a closer look at the configurations of four external water-cooling systems.

Before selecting a system, Ipsen recommends consulting your plant engineer or water treatment expert for possible water sources and analysis information; this ensures the proper equipment is selected and an effective water treatment program is put in place.