Applied Process, Inc.

Applied Process is a worldwide group of commercial heat treats that specialize in the Austempering process. We get paid to heat treat people’s parts, but what we really do for a living is help our customers to replace one material/process combination with a better, faster, cheaper one. AP is the world leader in Austempering technology. It’s all we do since 1962. Our iron and steel metallurgical bench strength is unmatched in the industry. Our dedicated R&D center is always working on the next new technology. AP plants are state-of-the-science, clean, safe, efficient and ISO certified. 95% of our business is derived from engineering conversions. AP engineers can provide your team conceptual and design assistance. We can show you how Austempering can be used in lightweighting. We’ve got you covered on four continents. We help your business enter new markets and improve your bottom line.

Company details

4000 State Road 91 , Oshkosh , WI Oshkosh USA

Locations Served

Memberships

Business Type:
Manufacturer
Industry Type:
Manufacturing, Other
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:
1962

This company also provides solutions for environmental applications.
Please, visit their profile in environmental-expert.com for more info.

Applied Process has been a technology leader in the heat treating industry since 1978. AP and its affiliated companies use properly applied Austempering technologies to solve tough engineering problems. AP also continues to work on the development of ever more efficient Austempering systems. This experience and capability are available to you today.

The roots of Applied Process, Inc. were forged in 1962 when W. R. Keough, with several partners, founded the Atmosphere Furnace Company (AFC). Their introductory product was a controlled atmosphere continuous belt-type austempering line capable of processing 1,500 pounds (680 Kg) per hour of small parts. That development spawned the Atmosphere Group, which included several commercial heat treatment plants specializing in austempering. In 1967 AFC produced the first continuous austempering furnace that allowed hand-loading of the parts. In 1972 the pusher-type austempering furnace was developed. Also in that year, the process was first commercially applied to produce Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) at an Atmosphere Group facility.

Each of these equipment and process developments increased the productivity of the austempering process and drove down the price, making it competitive with conventional heat treatments. By the 1970's the light stamping industry had 'discovered' the austempering process and the conversion was on. Meanwhile, a variation of the austempering process, Carbo-austempering, was being explored.

By the 1980's Austempered Ductile Iron had become more than a laboratory curiosity. It had been discovered that the ausferrite matrix in ADI (Figure 4) delivered twice the strength for a given level of ductility when compared to conventional pearlitic, ferritic or martensitic matrices. The stage had been set.

Austempering is no ordinary heat treating procedure, and Applied Process has no ordinary people. Our staff includes metallurgists, consulting metallurgists, mechanical engineers and a dedicated R&D staff.

Applied Process is a worldwide group of commercial heat treats that specialize in the Austempering process. We get paid to heat treat people’s parts, but what we really do for a living is help our customers to replace one material/process combination with a better, faster, cheaper one.

  • AP is the world leader in Austempering technology. It’s all we do since 1962.
  • Our iron and steel metallurgical bench strength is unmatched in the industry.
  • Our dedicated R&D center is always working on the next new technology.
  • AP plants are state-of-the-science, clean, safe, efficient and ISO certified.
  • 95% of our business is derived from engineering conversions.
  • AP engineers can provide your team conceptual and design assistance.
  • We can show you how Austempering can be used in lightweighting.
  • We’ve got you covered on four continents.
  • We help your business enter new markets and improve your bottom line.

Whether AP is working as a reliable step in your manufacturing process or a cost effective supplier of outsourced Austempering services, you’ll find us to be a “no problem”, cost effective collaborator.

Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI)
Austempered Steel
Carbo-Austempered Steel
Carbidic Ductile Iron (CADI)
LADI
Austempered Gray Iron (AGI)

Austempering: making your iron and steel parts tougher, stronger, lighter, quieter, wear resistant……and greener.

Austempering is an isothermal heat treatment that, when applied to ferrous materials, produces a structure that is stronger and tougher than comparable structures produced with conventional heat treatments. Conventional heat treaters heat the parts to 'red heat' in a controlled atmosphere and then quench them in a bath of oil or water that is near room temperature. (Maybe even as high as a few hundred degrees Fahrenheit). This produces a crystalline structure known as Martensite, a hard, brittle phase. The parts are then tempered in another furnace at 350°F (177°C) to 1100°F (593°C) to decrease the 'brittleness.'

Austempering starts the same way. The parts are heated to 'red heat' in a controlled atmosphere (so they don't scale) but then are quenched in a bath of molten salt at 450°F (232°C) to 750°F (399°C). The quench temperature is above the Martensite starting temperature. Therefore, a different structure (not Martensite) results. In Austempered Ductile Iron and Austempered Gray Iron the structure is Ausferrite, and in steel, it is Bainite.
Austempering Means Uniform Structure

During the process of quenching to Martensite, the Martensite reaction begins immediately. The result is that the outside of the part may already be transformed while the inside is still red hot. It is this 'non-uniform phase transformation' that results in distortion and tiny micro cracks that lower the strength of the part.

By contrast, the Austempering reaction that produces Ausferrite or Bainite takes place over many minutes or hours. This results in uniform growth and a stronger (less disturbed) microstructure. Austempering truly is 'a better mousetrap.'

AP's understanding of the process is very thorough, and we keep pushing the envelope with R&D. Twenty percent of all heat treaters list Austempering as just one of the many processes they do. This means that they only do Austempering part time. Austempering is ALL that AP does...and we like to think we do it better than anyone.

Based on customer input, our proprietary computer models can make accurate material and process selections and predict final mechanical properties. This allows us to assist the design engineer in formulating the optimum and most efficient design, material, and process combination.
Out of the Lab and Into the War

The history of Austempering begins in the 1930's, when Grossman and Bain, working for the United States Steel Laboratories, were evaluating the metallurgical response of steels cooled rapidly from 1450°F (788°C) to intermittently high temperatures and held for various times. The outcome of their pioneering research is what we now commonly call the 'isothermal transformation diagram'

Grossman and Bain were familiar with the conventional metallurgical structures of ferrite, pearlite and martensite. What they discovered, however, was another structure, formed above the martensite start temperature (Ms) and below the pearlite formation region. In steels, this structure took the form of an acicular (plate-like) structure with a feathery appearance. X-ray diffraction later identified this structure as a combination of ferrite and metal carbide. The resultant structure, termed 'Bainite,' was found to be stronger and tougher than a comparable 'quenched and tempered' structure (Fig. 2).

In 1937, while working for International Nickel, Flinn documented the microstructure of Austempered gray iron (Figure 3). By 1941 Inco and Climax Molybdenum collaborated on experiments with cast iron that produced a 'tempered bainitic' microstructure with a 90 ksi (620 MPa) tensile strength.

During World War II the Austempering process was used extensively in the production of gun parts. It was found that the process resulted in low distortion and parts that were tougher than the quenched and tempered components they replaced. (Critical gun parts are still routinely Austempered today). However, the best equipment available for Austempering then was very inefficient. Therefore, the Austempering process was relatively expensive.

By the 1950's the Austempering process was routinely applied to steel and malleable iron parts. The relatively high cost of the process limited its use to only the highest performance parts.

Who we are:

Applied Process does what it does because of our clarity of mission and our shared vision and values.

Our Mission:

To Grow the Pie for Austempering (profitably).

Our Vision:

Passionate people providing innovative Austempering solutions.

Our Values:

  • Commitment
  • Personal Growth
  • Profitability
  • Hard Work & Enthusiasm
  • Honesty
  • Technical Leadership
  • Personal Responsibility

The Best in the Heat Treating Business

Applied Process has been a technology leader in the heat treating industry since 1978.

The roots of Applied Process, Inc. were forged in 1962 when W. R. Keough, with several partners, founded the Atmosphere Furnace Company (AFC). Their introductory product was a controlled atmosphere continuous belt-type austempering line capable of processing 1,500 pounds (680 Kg) per hour of small parts. That development spawned the Atmosphere Group, which included several commercial heat treatment plants specializing in austempering. In 1967 AFC produced the first continuous austempering furnace that allowed hand-loading of the parts. In 1972 the pusher-type austempering furnace was developed. Also in that year, the process was first commercially applied to produce Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) at an Atmosphere Group facility.

The Benefits

Austempering is a specialized heat treat process that imparts superior properties to ferrous metals. What makes Austempering better than the competition? It may provide the following benefits to your components:

Less Distortion

Austempering is an isothermal process. Unlike other heat-treat processes, the transformation that takes place during Austempering happens over many minutes or hours. This means the component slowly transform uniformly to its new microstructure. This means less distortion and no cracking during quenching.

True, any heat treat process is going to cause part growth. However, because this process is isothermal, components of the same incoming chemistry will grow the same way every time. Lot to lot and part-to-part, your components will have predictable growth from the Austempering process. That means you can design the dimensional change into your component and let it grow to its tolerance.

Higher Strength

Austempered materials gain strength and toughness due to the unique microstructure gained through the Austempering Process.

Higher Toughness

Austempered materials gain strength and toughness due to the unique microstructure gained through the Austempering Process.

Less Noise

Austempered Ductile Iron and Austempered Gray Iron are quiet alternatives to steels and irons. Due to the presence of graphite in the microstructure of these un-treated metals, they have a higher noise-damping coefficient than that of steels. After Austempering, these materials show an increase in damping coefficient, making them quieter than they were when untreated. When noise is your problem, try an Austempered Iron to decrease noise and vibration in your components.

Better Wear Resistance

The unique characteristics of an Austempered Material make it more wear resistant than many competive materials. The high case hardness of Carbo_Austempered steel give it a tough wear surface. The imbedded carbides and Austempered microstructure of Carbidic ADI make it a competitive wear material for ground engaging applications. The high strength and toughness of ADI and Austempered Steel make them more suitable for higher wear applications. Try Austempering today to create components that can handle wear better than conventional materials.

Lighter Components

With 3 times the strength of aluminum and 2.3 times the density, ADI can replace aluminum at a weight savings! When you increase the strength of your component by using the Austempering process, you can use thinner sections in your components, and cut down the weight of your products.

Lower Overall Component Cost

Increasing the strength of your component, making it tougher, lighter and more wear resistant – can decrease the amount of material needed to produce your product. Less material means less raw material cost going into your component. Switching from a costly forging, welding or fabricating operation to a lower cost casting operation can also save you many dollars in manufacturing costs. Not to mention that irons and steels are significantly less expensive materials that aluminum, magnesium and other composite and plastics materials.

Applied Process has been a technology leader in the heat treating industry since 1978. While many companies talk about quality, we have quietly designed it into our equipment and processes. Our experience shows that quality does not cost, it pays. Nor can quality be 'inspected' into the finished product. It must be woven into the organizational fabric.

Our goal is to process zero defective parts. Each and every individual in our company realizes that even one substandard part or process threatens our customers and our position in the market. To that end we will continually refine and improve our processes, educate our employees, and update our facilities to assure our customers of:

  • The Highest Quality Services Available
  • On time
  • At competitive Prices

Applied Process and its affiliates are good neighbors who lead the way in developing environmentally friendly processes. We have reduced gas consumption per pound of metal treated by 40%, and reclaim all of our quench salt, alloy and cooling water. We use 100% recyclable materials. We have implemented technologies that reduce in-plant noise by over 50%, and are researching ways to reduce Nox emissions and further improve energy efficiency. We are a good neighbor.