Special Process: Heat Treat System Assessment

Generator and furnace atmosphere carbon potential/dew point shall be continuously monitored, automatically controlled, and documented. Recorded carbon potential shall be controlled within +/- 0.05 of the set point. Recorded dew point shall be controlled within acceptable limits specified in the control plan or internal procedures.

NOTE: For rotary retort and shaker furnaces that preclude in situ control and monitoring, the method described in Section 3.4.5 “Property Surveys” shall be used.

If generators are not used, the flow rates of the supplied atmosphere gases shall be monitored and controlled.

3.7 The automatic and continuous atmosphere control system shall consist of sensors such as oxygen probes or on-line Infrared (IR) gas analysis. The heat treater shall also have a back-up method of checking the carbon potential/dew point. Examples are dew point, electrical wire resistance, gas analysis, shim stock, carbon bar, etc. See Process Tables, Sect. 3.0 for verification frequencies of primary and back up method.

3.8 When the back-up verification check of the atmosphere does not correlate within pre-established limits with the primary control method (carbon potential/dew point reading), the heat treater shall resolve the out-of-limit discrepancy. The back-up atmosphere monitoring system reading and the automatically controlled atmosphere dew point/carbon potential reading shall be maintained within the correlation limits specified in the control plan or internal procedures. These range tolerances vary with the specific heat treat process and the equipment used.
The heat treater shall make appropriate technical adjustments and then re-establish/demonstrate the correlation of the actual atmosphere carbon potential/dew point reading to the primary control and back-up atmosphere reading. The range tolerances for correlation between the two readings shall be in the control plan or internal procedures. The back-up carbon potential/dew point reading shall be established using one or more of the following methods:

  • Carbon bar, slug, or surface carbon of part
  • Shim stock
  • 3-gas analyzer
  • Dew point
  • Hot wire resistance

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