Spurred by a successful entry into Hot Isostatic Pressing at the beginning of this year, Stack Metallurgical Group is redoubling its commitment to the technology with the addition of a second Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) from Quintus Technologies.
A trusted provider of heat treating and metal processing services to quality-critical industries, Stack is now investing in a model QIH 122 M URC®, which features a work zone of 26.0 inches (660 mm) in diameter and 68.9 inches (1,750 mm) in height. The new system follows the installation of a high-capacity Mega-HIP, the QIH286 M URC®, with a work zone of 63 inches (1,600 mm) in diameter and 102 inches (2,591 mm) in height.
“We’ve been extremely happy with the market response as we have expanded our service offerings to include HIP,” states Doug Puerta, CEO, Stack Metallurgical Group. “The massive size of our first unit enables us to process larger castings and/or powder metal components. The new unit now allows us to process all ranges of materials and lot sizes and is ideal for moderately sized components. The capabilities and capacity offered by these two units further strengthen the value proposition that Stack facilities provide their clients.”
Like the Mega-HIP, the QIH 122 M URC is equipped with the Quintus proprietary uniform rapid cooling (URC®) feature, which combines HIP and heat treatment in a single process. Known as high pressure heat treatment (HPHT), this innovative approach streamlines the steps involved in material densification and heat treatment. It enables all processed components to cool uniformly, resulting in minimal thermal distortion and non-uniform grain growth. The improved material properties are essential for parts designed for demanding applications--in aerospace, medical implants, and power generation, for example.
The burgeoning additive manufacturing (AM) environment played a large role in Stack’s decision to expand its HIP portfolio. “We see opportunities not only in traditional markets such as castings, but also in emerging markets, with additive manufacturing being the most notable,” Mr. Puerta says.
The new press, which operates at a maximum temperature of 2,552°F (1,400°C) and a maximum pressure of 30,000 psi (2,070 bar), will be installed in Stack’s recently completed facility in Albany, Oregon.
Stack has also enrolled in a five-year Quintus® Care agreement, a comprehensive program that assures safe, trouble-free press operation and optimized functionality at a fixed annual cost. This rigorous preventative maintenance program helps reduce operational risk while providing access to Quintus’s in-depth technical expertise and vast HIP application knowledge.
“HIP is an important contributor toward our objective to be a one-stop shop for our clients, as we can now service a broad range of manufacturing milestones,” Dan Ederer, Stack Corporate President, comments, adding, “Quintus has been a great partner since we first began exploring an entrance into HIP. Quintus has provided unique solutions including size, pressure, and cooling rate capability, which has in turn enabled us to partner with our clients in a more comprehensive manner.”
“Stack’s decision to invest in a second Quintus HIP is a tribute to our leadership position in the industry,” says Jan Söderström, CEO of Quintus Technologies. “As the need for Hot Isostatic Pressing steadily increases, we are very pleased with this next step in our relationship.”
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