Sintering Furnaces

Laboratory Furnaces

The common tube and box furnaces seen in laboratories worldwide are not only inexpensive, but they work well for many high-temperature processing applications. However, the least expensive versions have Kanthal A1 or nickel alloy heating elements that limit practical long-term application temperatures to about 1200° C. Moderately priced super Kanthal cermet heating elements and more robust insulation packs yield designs suitable for maximum temperatures in the 1600°C to 1800°C range in oxidizing atmospheres. Ceramic tubes can extend application of these laboratory furnace to inert and vacuum atmospheres, although with some reliability issues

An ideal general-purpose laboratory furnace would extend the above temperature range to permit processing of more covalently bonded non-oxide materials and refractory metals. Both of these materials are now used widely in commercial applications. For most of these materials (as well as for most materials used to fabricate extreme temperature hot zones), it is important to achieve and maintain a protective gas environment.

Cold wall designs enable fabrication of these ideal laboratory furnaces. Worldwide, there are now thousands of these cold wall general purpose laboratory furnaces at leading research institutions. Cold wall laboratory furnaces have been at the forefront of materials research efforts in many applications and continue to enable ground-breaking research developments not possible with the more limited, lower temperature, air atmosphere laboratory furnaces.