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Nitrogen Generators for Bright Annealing

Nitrogen Generators for Bright Annealing

Nitrogen gas has become an integral part of many businesses and industries. Metal fabricators in particular rely on nitrogen for heat-treating processes like bright annealing.

Bright annealing improves the physical and mechanical properties of metals for manufacturing. It involves heating the metal to an ideal temperature, holding it at that temperature for a period of time, and then cooling it. The process occurs within a protective atmosphere of inert gas, typically nitrogen. This prevents oxidation of the metal’s surface for a more lustrous finish.

One of the most common applications for bright annealing is in stainless steel production, where it’s used to achieve a brighter and smoother surface finish on final products. For the construction and automotive industries, the use of nitrogen annealing ensures that products are resistant to corrosion.

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of using nitrogen generators for bright annealing within any industry.

How Nitrogen Generators Work

Nitrogen generators use various processes to separate nitrogen from oxygen and other gases in ambient air. The two most common processes are pressure swing adsorption (PSA) and membrane separation.

  • Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Technology: In PSA technology, compressed air passes through a bed of molecular sieves commonly called CMS. CMS selectively adsorbs the oxygen molecules from the air, leaving behind a nitrogen gas stream.
  • Membrane Separation Technology: Membrane technology passes compressed air through a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane allows nitrogen to pass through while filtering out oxygen molecules.

The Benefits of Using Nitrogen Generators for Bright Annealing

Having a nitrogen generator onsite for bright annealing can only benefit businesses in terms of reliability, cost, safety and environmental footprint.

Consistency and Reliability

Nitrogen generators are an ideal choice for nitrogen supply for bright annealing processes because they provide a consistent and reliable source of nitrogen. Unlike traditional methods of nitrogen supply, such as cylinders or bulk liquid nitrogen supply, nitrogen generators produce a continuous flow of low cost nitrogen that is free from contaminants and has a consistent, high purity level. This ensures that the bright annealing process is performed in a safe and efficient manner.

Cost-Effectiveness

Nitrogen generators produce the lowest cost nitrogen available in the market today, even at ultra high nitrogen purity requirements. There’s no requirement to install large bulk liquid nitrogen tanks, no evaporation loses and no costly delivery charges that are associated with conventional bulk liquid nitrogen supply. What’s more, nitrogen generators use air as their source of raw material, meaning that there are no additional costs associated with purchasing the gas itself.

Safety

Using a nitrogen generator for bright annealing is also much safer than other methods of supplying nitrogen. There is no need to store large amounts of compressed nitrogen gas or liquid nitrogen. The risk associated with handling and storing these materials, such as leaks or explosive cylinder failure is eliminated.

Environmental Friendliness

Lastly, nitrogen generators are environmentally friendly. Nitrogen generators require less energy to operate than traditional methods of nitrogen production such as cryogenic distillation plants and produce zero emissions during operation. Additionally, without the need to transport large amounts of cylinder nitrogen or bulk liquid nitrogen over long distances, there’s a reduction in the environmental impact associated with this type of transportation.

How to Choose the Right Nitrogen Generator for Bright Annealing

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a nitrogen generator.

  • Furnace size: The size of the annealing furnace is the most important factor, as the generator has to be able to produce enough nitrogen gas to meet the needs of providing an inert atmosphere in the furnace.
  • Nitrogen purity: Also important is the purity of the nitrogen gas. The higher the purity of the nitrogen gas, the better the surface finish of the annealed metal.
  • Operating conditions: The operating conditions of the annealing furnace, like gas flow rate, temperature, and humidity, must also be considered when making your choice.

Choose Nitrogen Generators from Advanced Gas Technologies

Nitrogen generators are a reliable and cost-effective choice for providing nitrogen gas for bright annealing. They offer numerous benefits over using conventional nitrogen sources including the lowest cost supply of nitrogen, consistent nitrogen supply on demand, reliability, safety, and environmental friendliness.

Whatever your industry, Advanced Gas Technologies can help you select the appropriate generator for your nitrogen annealing needs. Contact us today for a quote.

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