Technology comparison of flame hardening and induction heating

Induction heating vs. direct flame – how induction hardening is replacing flame hardening

Various methods are available for the hardening of cutting edges: flame hardening, laser hardening, or induction hardening. All these methods are versatile in application. They can be used for manual or automated hardening of large and bulky parts with complex shapes.

The eldec MICO mobile induction hardening solution is replacing flame hardening with gas flames

Tools and dies for forming and cutting are hardened, especially along their edges, because of the high mechanical stresses they are subjected to. Previously, most companies accomplished this by flame hardening, as there were virtually no practical alternatives. Flame hardening involves radiant heating of the steel surface through the combustion of gas and oxygen. The hardening process of quenching can then follow by air cooling or by the use of appropriate cooling media. Flame hardening is a technology for surface hardening. In addition to flame hardening, induction hardening and laser hardening have also established themselves in this field. If you look solely at mobile systems, however, laser hardening is ruled out due to the machinery and control equipment it requires.

eldec offers a true alternative to conventional flame hardening with its induction heating technology, or more precisely, with the mobile generators of the MICO series.

The advantages over flame hardening are obvious. Unlike flame hardening, where the heat penetrates in from outside, induction heating applies the heat directly to the volume underneath the surface.
The energy and the application of heat can be perfectly controlled, ensuring fast heating times and consequently optimum control of heating results and minimal energy consumption.

The soot formed by flame hardening and other, potentially dangerous emissions (e.g. toxic gases) are entirely eliminated with induction heating. Induction heating, which is to say induction hardening, thus offers greater process stability than flame hardening and can considerably boost productivity in surface hardening.

Technology comparison of flame hardening and induction heating

Advantages

  • Precisely controlled application of energy
  • Repeatable results and quality
  • Mobile
  • High process stability
  • High safety for workers
  • Increased energy efficiency

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