Linde LLC, the North American branch of Tier One corporation The Linde Group, has unveiled a new atmosphere control system (ACS) for the oxide-free annealing for a variety of metals.

The HYDROFLEXTM system has been designed as a universal solution for annealing sheet metal such as steel, stainless steel, copper, bronze or brass, and for manufacturing various tubing, wire and parts.

The HYDROFLEX ACS uses either nitrogen (N2) or argon (Ar) to maintain the furnace pressure, whilst a controlled ratio of hydrogen (H2) circulates throughout and helps to prevent oxidation.

A bright oxide-free finish means less rework, and a high reliability process means higher productivity

In the interest of both fire safety and optimising H2 usage throughout the process, the HYDROFLEX technology allows annealing tasks to be completed with non-flammable gas mixtures which contain less than 5% H2.

Main features of Linde’s ACS include improved heat transfer, a uniform heat distribution with a faster cooling rate and automatic safety purging with N2.

Grzegorz Moroz, Programme Manager of Heat Treatment and Atmopsheres at the US-based unit, stressed, “The HYDROFLEX control system can help optimise your process efficiency and enhance productivity of your process regardless of whether you are annealing, sintering or brazing. First, it contributes to repeatable parts quality. In addition, a bright oxide-free finish means less rework, and a high reliability process means higher productivity.”