The flexible heat treatment of automotive components in a novel type of pusher furnace

  • B. Edenhofer
  • H.P. Lankes
  • H. Burgmaier
  • A. Kurz


The typical heat treatment processes needed in the automotive industry are hardening and tempering, casehardening,
nitrocarburising and various types of annealing. Usually, different types of specialised furnaces
are applied to the various processes with each furnace type possessing very little flexibility. An exception is
the sealed quench furnaces, or also called multi-purpose furnaces, which can be used for various heat
treatment processes. Their disadvantage is a certain limitation with respect to high productivity in large
series component production. A continuous pusher furnace e.g. is better adapt for economical large series
manufacturing, however, is designed only for single purpose usage. This all has changed with the novel
concept of a pusher furnace, which allows large series production of automotive components and, at the
same time, a switch-over from the hardening and tempering process to case-hardening, or isothermal
annealing, or soft annealing, or spheroidizing. The features and technical data of this novel pusher furnace
system are discussed together with various applications for automotive components.