The three general equipment classifications for thermal processing equipment are:
Classification used depends upon the scope of production and the nature of the business.
While the science behind heat treatment remains principally the same, certain advantages can be achieved from particular oven and furnace types. As an example it is possible to carry out the annealing process in air furnaces, vacuum furnaces, and gas purged retort furnaces, amongst others.
Similarly the surface chemistry process of carburizing can be carried out in a range of equipment types including batch and continuous atmosphere controlled furnaces, pusher furnaces, or vacuum furnaces. The range of furnace types is extremely diverse.
So, if the furnace equipment type does not define the process, why should there be so many different options for users to choose from?
The following gives typical examples of furnace types, but this is by no means an exhaustive list: