Continuing a successful partnership

/ HICON JOURNAL 2024-01-EN | Fabrizio Milanolo, EBNER Thermal Solutions

Continuing a Successfull Partnership

EBNER supplies a roller-hearth furnace facility, complete with quenching system, to solubilize stainless steel ingots and coils.

In October 2022, Acciaierie Valbruna S.p.A. placed an order with EBNER Thermal Solutions S.r.l. for delivery of a new heat treatment facility for their Vicenza works. Only eleven months later, the facility went into operation.

Acciaierie Valbruna S.p.A. is one of the largest producers of stainless steels, nickel alloys and titanium long products in Italy. The company‘s 2500 employees produce around 250,000 metric tons of specialty steels per year, operating from two production plants in Italy (Vicenza and Bolzano), one in the United States (Fort Wayne, IN) and one in Canada (Welland, Ontario).

Valbruna’s products find application in a wide variety of industrial sectors such as the food and pharmaceutical industries, aerospace industry, automotive industry, chemical and petrochemical industries, construction, energy, machine manufacturing, medical technology and shipbuilding.

Valbruna‘s primary goal has always been to increase its production capacity in industrial sectors that demand high quality standards.

Successful implementation on a tight schedule

To achieve its goal, Valbruna made a decision in 2022 to invest in a new heat treatment facility for the solubilization of long products. This new facility would replace an existing one operating at their Vicenza plant, and would be capable of complying with the extremely stringent AMS 2750G aerospace standard.

The turnkey contract that was awarded included two strict milestones. First, the existing furnace had to be dismantled by the last week of July, 2023. Second, the new furnace had to be installed and ready to start production by the middle of September, 2023. As it turned out, the old furnace was completely dismantled by August 1 and on September 15, 2023 the new furnace produced its first heat treated coils. These coils were heated up to 1180 °C, following which they underwent solubilization in the quench tank.

Satisfactory quality and reduced natural gas consumption 

During the first week of October, the furnace was adapted to be capable of solubilizing bar using a specially-designed water spray system. This system was installed immediately downstream of the furnace outlet, in front of the coil quench tank. The first tests of the metallurgical quality were positive. Thanks to the flameless combustion system equipped with self-recuperative burners, natural gas consumption has been lowered even as optimal temperature uniformity is achieved inside the furnace chamber. The customer has been extremely satisfied with the low emission levels that have been achieved.

Continuing the successful partnership

Thanks to the highly successful collaboration during this project for the Vicenza works, Acciaierie Valbruna placed a new order with EBNER Thermal Solutions to rebuild an existing heat treatment facility at their Bolzano works. This facility is also used for solubilization, producing stainless steel bar and coils at throughputs up to 10 t/h.

We are looking forward to continuing our partnership, and to a successful completion of this next challenging project.

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