For Immediate Release – January 2000

Thermal Technology recently shipped a sintering furnace system, Model 812T to Tantalum Pellet Company Inc. (TPC) in Phoenix, Arizona.

Todd Knowles, General Manager of TPC, explains that this state of the art furnace system will be used to sinter tantalum anodes that are used in the manufacture of tantalum capacitors. TPC is a division of TPC Hilton Capacitor and manufactures high-quality anodes and cathodes for capacitors and electrodes for flashtubes. These components are manufactured by pressing tantalum powder into appropriate shapes and then sintering to fuse the powder.

Thermal Technology’s Model 812T furnace has usable hot zone dimensions of 7 inches diameter by 8 inches tall. This hot zone features tantalum heating elements and radiation shields. Important process parameters in the sintering of the capacitor anodes include a high degree of temperature uniformity and a high level of vacuum. The Model 812T provides excellent temperature uniformity by utilizing a vertical cylindrical hot zone with a hanging cylindrical main heating element and top and bottom trim heating elements. This cylindrical design together with cylindrical work racks has distinct benefits when compared to cuboid or rectangular hot zone designs. Heat is more evenly directed to the work and corner loss is reduced with a more even heat loss system. The addition of the trim heaters further assures even heating by having adjustable top and bottom heating.

Temperature control of the elements is achieved with three separate P.I.D. closed-loop control systems. This arrangement provides a temperature tuned hot zone with very low-temperature gradients. A high vacuum level of 10-6 torr is obtained quickly in 15 minutes using a Varian VHS10 diffusion pump backed with a 54 CFM Leybold rotary vane mechanical vacuum pump.

The sintering furnace features easy to use automated controls with all essential fail safe interlocks. This design permits completely unattended operation with excellent control of pertinent process parameters. For more information contact: