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A variety of flame heating techniques are required in metal fabrication. Flame heating involves transferring heat to the workpiece by means of a gas flame – without the workpiece melting or material being removed. Examples of flame heating applications include flame straightening, flame hardening, hot forming, and pre- and postheating in conjunction with welding.
In gas welding and flame brazing, for instance, the flame is used for melting purposes. In the case of flame-sprayed coatings, sometimes a flame fusing process is necessary.
Typical flame treatments include:
Flame straightening: This technique is employed to restore the shape of parts that have been distorted. When a defined section is heated and the surrounding material restricts expansion, plastic deformation will occur. Once cooled, the material will shrink in size. A skilled operator can heat isolated spots, lines or wedges to straighten the deformation.
Melting: This involves soldering, brazing and fusing of sprayed coatings as well as gas welding.
Hot forming: The part to be formed is heated locally. An external force is then applied to form the part. This is used, for example, when necking out pipe branch stubs.
Shrink fitting: It may be necessary to shrink fittings such as shafts/bearings in order to ensure a secure fit. Liquid nitrogen can be used for cooling (shrinking) and an oxy-acetylene flame for heating (expanding).
Metal structure changes: This involves flame hardening.
Selecting the Right Gas
Many different factors must be considered when choosing a fuel gas for flame treatments depending on the desired properties or outcome. The operator may require rapid local heating, for instance, or homogenous heating of the entire workpiece. Hydrocarbons such as methane, ethylene, acetylene, propane and propylene or hydrogen are used as fuel gases for flame heating.
The flame temperature and intensity depends on the fuel gases used and the oxygen mixing ratio. Regardless of your flame treatment application, the right gas and supply solution can enhance both quality and productivity.
Our LINDOFLAMM® range of special acetylene burners provides tailored solutions for all flame straightening, preheating, postheating, hot forming, brazing and flame hardening process challenges across the widest range of materials.
Leveraging the benefits of autogenous acetylene flames, our wide LINDOFLAMM portfolio ensures the perfect fit for your individual needs.
Complementing our broad range of special burners, our engineers can support you with their in-depth know-how and application excellence, helping you to select the optimum gas supply system, set-up and parameter settings.
For particularly complex heating challenges, we develop and manufacture tailored systems supporting partially or fully automated heating processes. Depending on individual needs, these systems offer functions such as automatic ignition, flame monitoring plus temperature control and documentation.