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continuous bright annealing furnace

Brazing of Automotive Fuel Funnels

Bluewater performs braze assembly of stainless steel fuel funnels for the automotive industry. Prior to brazing, Bluewater is capable of assembling the individual components through operations of bending, welding, press-fit, and brazing paste application. After brazing, CMM dimensional inspections are performed to ensure dimensional tolerances are met. An additional re-strike operation is even performed on some fuel funnels to guarantee dimensions will conform to requirements after brazing as a value-added step.

The brazing is performed on continuous mesh belt furnaces instead of vacuum furnaces for a number of reasons that include:

  • Higher throughput and capacity per hour to handle large volumes demanded by the automakers.
    • More economical and lower cost per piece than vacuum brazing.
  • Ability to more uniformly heat and cool a thin layer of parts as they pass through the furnace on a belt.
    • Vacuum batch furnaces with large masses of bulk racked parts are not as evenly and consistently heated and cooled. Large differences in thermal profiles can exist from the center of the mass to outside edges and corners of load.
  • Consistent and cosmetically pleasing bright surface finish from hydrogen reducing atmospheres used.
    • Vacuum furnaces are prone to small leaks allowing oxygen to be present in the furnace which leads to product dulling and discoloration. Vacuum furnaces do not produce parts that are as bright and can also discolor if furnace door is opened too early while parts are still warm.
  • Less distortion and size change issues occurring during belt processing where soak times at temperature are short and parts are single layered.
    • Vacuum furnaces with bulk loading can cause warpage of parts at bottom of bulk loaded baskets where they have heavy weights of other parts pressing down on them and use longer exposure times at heat to fully soak out the larger load sizes.

Bluewater is able to meet all of the stringent requirements of the automotive companies when brazing fuel funnels. Continuous mesh belt processing means that the parts are bright, uniformly heated and cooled, less distorted, and processed at high furnace throughputs allowing Bluewater to run at lower operating costs and produce high quality parts.