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Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing Services (LPVC)

Vacuum Carburizing Processing Advantages

Download / Print Carburizing Quick Info. Sheet

The type of vacuum carburizing services Solar Atmospheres specializes in is Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing, also known as LPVC, which is a heat treat process that supplies additional carbon to the surface of the steel.  Performed in a vacuum furnace, this vacuum carburizing process is designed to achieve optimum case hardening properties for various alloy materials.  This vacuum carburizing service is typically used when critical parts are utilized in high-wear applications.  The wear resistant surface is supported by a relatively ductile shock-absorbing core, capable of withstanding high load bearing applications.  The benefits of LPVC over traditional carburizing processes are case depth uniformity, maximum case integrity, and improved gear root to pitch case depth ratios, deep blind-hole vacuum carburizing, minimal distortion, and bright clean parts.

Solar’s vacuum carburizing process prevents surface intergranular oxidation (IGO) which is inherent to traditional carburizing processes.  The avoidance of IGO in vacuum carburizing increases the integrity of the carburized case for improved wear and fatigue life and may reduce the need of otherwise machining the IGO layer from the steel after carburizing.  Additionally, the presence or absence of carbides can be controlled according to specification requirements.  This is accomplished by controlling the desired surface carbon content of the material during the vacuum carburizing process, which has the ability to produce accurate and repeatable carbon concentrations.  The accurate and repeatable outcome is a result of precise process control through highly engineered microprocessor implementation.  In addition to increased surface hardness and surface carbon content, the vacuum carburizing process also produces compressive residual stresses in the carburized case for improved fatigue life.  The result is metallurgical properties that provide optimal surface and core hardness for the most advantageous part performance and wear life.

Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing Service is a highly technical process which Solar has helped pioneer in the heat treating industry since 2005. Solar Atmospheres engineers construct their own vacuum furnaces which is unique amongst other commercial heat treating sources. As a result, the technical and innovated support is always available for any vacuum carburizing needs and other heat treating consultation. Solar Atmospheres routinely works with customers to assist in defining the results needed depending on the material and specifications required. Solar Atmospheres vacuum carburizes in a single vacuum chamber with a newly developed insitu, a high pressure gas quenching system. The benefits of the vacuum carburizing process coupled with the advantages of high pressure gas quenching include reduction in part distortion and post process part washing. In addition, a single chamber vacuum carburizing services system results in less part handling for cost effective processing.


  • Minimize distortion
  • Efficient part handling improves quality and turnaround
  • Furnaces ranging from lab sizes to six feet long
  • Shorter cycle times for reduced costs
  • Uniform case depth including improved gear root to pitch ratios
  • Automation of specific cycles to insure repeatability
  • Customize cycle development for specific applications
  • Ability to efficiently carburize blind holes
  • Environmentally friendly process
  • Technical assistance in defining requirements
  • Control of surface carbon content
  • Metallurgical Capabilities
  • Sub-zero treatment


  • Low to Mid-carbon Alloy Steels: 33XX, 41XX, 43XX, 46XX, 48XX, 86XX, 93XX series
  • Specialized Steels: Pyrowear 53 & 675; CSS-42L, CBS-223 (X2M), M50-Nil
  • Stainless Steels
  • Ultra High Strength Steels: Ferrium C61, Ferrium C64, Aeromet 100
  • Tool Steels: H grade
  • Mold Steels: P grade
  • Powder Metal Steels

*New process applications are continually being developed. Contact a Solar Sales Engineer for your application.

Solar Atmospheres vacuum carburizing services department collaborates closely with clients to insure adherence to exact specifications required. This key communication aspect creates an environment where precision is the main product. Through advanced metallographic evaluation and analysis capabilities found at Solar Atmospheres, clients can be assured that the product has the proper metallurgical values.

Solar Atmospheres welcomes the opportunity to discuss your vacuum carburizing services applications. Due to furnace and processing capabilities, Solar offers specific cycle development for a range of alloys. New cycles are constantly being developed to process new applications. Solar Atmospheres customized approach to processing will greatly contribute to efficiency and precision of your projects.