A client came to THE LAB at Ambrell looking to design a process to heat steel shafts for forming to manufacture medical tools. The client hadn't been using an alternative heating method, so this was a new application for them. The parts were stainless steel (magnetic and non magnetic) and nickel alloy and they needed to heat them to 800 °F (427 °C) for forming.
THE LAB determined that an Ambrell EASYHEATTM 6 kW, 150-400 kHz induction heating system would be the right fit for their requirements. A custom-designed single position multiple-turn helical coil was built to generate the required heating for this forming application. Initial tests were conducted to optimize the power delivered to each part. Temperature indicating paint was then applied to each part, which dissolves when the part reaches the target temperature. It was observed that each sample could be heated to temperature in 2 seconds. In fact, the magnetic stainless steel and nickel alloy steel parts could be heated to temperature in just 1 second.
Induction's rapid, precise heating played into the client's decision to leverage it as their heating method of choice. Additionally, induction is extremely repeatable, which makes it ideal for high volume manufacturing processes. Finally, induction, with a remote workhead, is extremely space efficient when compared to other methods like oven heating.
Visit our forming/forging page to see other similar applications tested by THE LAB at Ambrell. And, if you have an application you'd like tested, contact THE LAB to take advantage of free induction heating parts testing by our expert applications engineers. You can even leverage our newest offering called Virtual Lab Service, where you can experience lab testing live from the comfort of your home or office.