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Using titanium chips to remove contamination from a vacuum furnace

We are an aerospace mfg.,and we do our own vacuum furnace brazing and heat treating. I have heard that you can use titanium chips during a high temperature bake-out to remove contamination from inside your furnace. Has anyone done this and does it work? We use argon with a dewpoint of -60 or lower as a partial pressure and quench gas, and we perform weekly bake-out and leak-up tests our leak rate is never more than two microns over a 2 hour period, we aren't experiencing discoloration of the product but our all molly hot zone and elements are picking up some contamination which is causing us some concern, any help would be appreciated.

Rodney Moran
aerospace tube mfg. - Tempe, Arizona

I can't tell you where to obtain Titanium chips from; however, when we were involved with vacuum heat processes such as you describe we used Titanium chips when and as necessary to clean the furnace. As you know, Titanium is known as a Getter, this is because of its affinity toward oxide. It will do the job . CAUTION do not allow Titanium to contact ANY other metal inside the furnace during the cleaning cycle . Place the chips on a Refrasil Blanket. DWx

Don Willcox
- Pawleys Island South Carolina USA
July 11, 2011

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