Salt Baths


 The receptacle containing the salts (or

mixtures of salts) which when heated, melt to form a liquid medium for heat treatment processes.
 Depending on the nature of the salt used for:  Quenching medium  Heat treatments  Case hardening  Dip Brazing

Construction of Salt Baths
General Design Requirements
Sound construction and without points of

Integral joints and corners be rounded off. Important parts are
 Suitable refractory lining  Outer shell  Bath cover  Catch pits  Heating system  Labeling

Construction of Salt Baths
1) Bath Covers & outer shell
The provision of suitable

sliding or hinged and counterbalance covers.
These covers shall be of non-

combustible material and should be fitted into guides.
The covers should be in place

whenever the bath is not in use, and in particular during the heating up and melting of solid salts.

Outer shell of Steel

for this situation provision should be made to channel leaking salts to a safe area free of combustible material where they can solidify. For small sized baths. For large baths it will normally be impractical. Catch pits capable of containing the contents of the bath in the event of any leakage occurring. .Construction of Salt Baths 2) Catch Pits Of suitable non-combustible material. If the salt is in direct contact with the heating source then it is not necessary.

4) Heating system  Direct or indirect heating of the salt in bath.Construction of Salt Baths 3) Labeling  Every bath shall be clearly labeled with a sign indicating whether nitrate or cyanide salts bath.  Electrical and oil/gas fired heating  The fuel for combustion is provided through pipes from top or bottom. .

high-alumina refractory MKO-72 (TU 14-8-71) with high-alumina VT-1 mortar for the joints. especially high- temperature baths.Construction of Salt Baths 5) Refractories Fire bricks For lining salt baths. The use of MKO-72 sharply increases the service life of salt baths. .

Construction of Salt Baths .

 Safe discharge of quench bath water to a suitable drain.  It should be lower in height than the salt bath. .Construction of Salt Baths Quench baths  Located at least 24 inches from any salt bath.  The provision of a suitable screen may be used instead of above two.  Cyanide salts contaminated water must be chemical treatment before being discharged.

Where practicable.  If on an upper level.Installation Requirements for Salt Baths 1) Location and flooring of salt baths –  Salt baths shall preferably be located at ground-floor level. . a bath should be placed on a suitable strengthened concrete floor. the section containing the salt baths shall be separated from other sections of the workplace by means of fireresisting walls.

.Installation Requirements for Salt Baths 2) Provision for Accidental Entry of Water Provision shall be made to ensure that water cannot accidentally enter a salt bath. Fire sprinkler systems shall not be fitted in heat treatment areas containing salt baths.

the baths shall be so placed as to provide adequate working space in the vicinity of each bath for every person working in that part of the premises.Installation Requirements for Salt Baths 3) Working Space In rooms where one or more salt baths are situated. .

 Containers  All salts should be stored in appropriately labeled containers which are moisture-proof.should be dry and clean. .allowed in that area.  No smoking area . A suitable sign should be displayed to indicate this.Storage of Salts  General provisions  Storage rooms .

and a scoop is recommended for transference. Dry gloves should be worn whenever cyanide salts are handled. The cyanide store shall be locked and in the charge of a responsible person extraordinarily. and acids or acidic materials MUST NOT be allowed to come into contact with cyanide salts. .Storage and Handling of Cyanide Salts Cyanides should not be stored together with nitrates. Cyanide containers should be opened only in the room in which the salt is to be used.

the salts should be transferred to suitable containers and the bags washed after emptying or burnt under controlled conditions. These salts are not much sensitive to transference of salt with scoop. If nitrate or nitrite salts are delivered in combustible bags.Storage and Handling of Nitrate / Nitrite Salts Nitrates should be stored away from oxidisable materials and sources of direct heat. Storage containers should be of noncombustible material. .

Why do we use salt baths?  The salt baths have following advantages over conventional heat treatment furnaces:  Fast and uniform heating  Controlled cooling conditions during quenching  Low surface oxidation and decarburization  Good control of case depths  Short treatment times .

The heat transfer rate in a liquid media is much greater than the gases. Convection in liquid salt bath produces uniform heating and cooling conditions.Fast and Uniform Heating and Cooling Conduction (combined with convection) through the liquid media (salt bath). .

Cracks and distortions Oil removal problem No control over cooling rate.Controlled cooling conditions during Quenching In conventional quenching operation Either water or oil are used as the quenching media. Not suitable for hi carbon steels. Less hardenable steels can’t be quenched. .

 Interrupted quenching technique prevents the work part from cracking and distortion.  Uniform quenching and no thermal stresses.Controlled cooling conditions during Quenching Salt bath quenching offers  Control over the quenching rate/severity.  Particularly suitable for High Carbon steels and less hardenable steels. .

Water content. Residence time Steel composition Austenitizing temperature Section thickness Configuration of parts  Other Variables – – – – . Agitation.Salt Bath Quenching  Main Variables in Salt Quenching – – – – Temperature.

no iron oxide formation and de – C chances.Low surface oxidation and de C Good control over the salt bath atmosphere. The contact of the hot work part with the atmosphere is minimized when the part is treated in the salt bath. . So.

Heat Treatment Processes in Salt Baths Austempring Martempring Hardening and annealing Nitriding and nitrocarburizing Carbonitriding Carburizing and carbonitriding Solution treatment of aluminum alloys Cleaning of metallic parts .

Classification of salt baths Nitrate salt baths Mixture of nitrate and nitrite salts Chloride baths Cyanide baths Alkali metal hydroxides .

. For solution treatment of aluminum alloys. For austempring. Safe range of use 160-550°C.Nitrate/Mixture with nitrites Salt baths Sodium/potassium salt baths For Martempering of steels. Normal tempring. Nitrate salt baths have also found application in the vulcanization of rubber.

Nitrate Salt baths Salt bath Compositi Melting on point Bath I Bath II KNO3 100 337ºC % NaNO3 100 370ºC % Work temperat ure range 350-500ºC 400-600ºC .

Nitrate-nitrite Mixture salts Compositions Approx. Melting Point KNO3 50-60% NaNO2 50-40% 135ºC Work temperature range 160-550ºC NaNO3 50-60% NaNO2 50-40% KNO3 50-60% NaNO3 50-40% 145ºC 225ºC 150-500ºC 260-600ºC .

Chloride Salt Baths For For Hardening. Tempering .

400ºC 15% KCl 2030% BaCl2 4050% CaCl2 1520% NaCO3 45450ºC 55% KCl 5545% BaCl2 50% 540ºC 500-800ºC 550-900ºC 570-900ºC .Bath Type Composition Melting point Work temperature range I II III NaCl 10.

Cyanide Salt Baths Extremely Toxic !!! Applied for: Liquid Nitriding ● A Molten 27 -34 % of Sodium Cyanide Salt bath ● Liquid Carbonitriding ● A molten salt containing 20-25% of sodium cyanide .

Cyanide salt baths Liquid Carburizing ● A molten salt containing10-25% of sodium cyanide Only liquid surface treatments. .

Polymers decompose and burn at the temperature of the molten salt.Mixture of Alkali Metal Hydroxides Polymeric contamination on metal parts surfaces may be effectively removed by immersion of the part into a molten salt. A temperature within 343-510°C are used for cleaning operation. . Mixtures of hydroxides and nitrates as salt baths.

Alkali Metal Hydroxides Salt bath Compositi Melting on point Bath I NaOH 75% 140ºC KOH 19% H2O 6% KOH 50280ºC 60% NaOH 5040% Work temperat ure range 160-280ºC Bath II 300-400ºC .

Titanium and its alloys at high temperature.Compatible Materials for Salt Baths Steels Aluminum and aluminum alloys. Following are not suitable: Magnesium alloys Zinc and its alloys .

. A continuous supply of fresh salt must be provided in the burner tube zone while firing to ensure that the burner tubes are completely covered in salt at all times.Operation of Salt Bath Charging of salt/mixture of salt in pre- determined amount. As salt around the burner tubes melts. more salt must be added to ensure complete coverage of the tubes and elimination of hot spots.

Removal of member from the salt bath. member is cooled. Transfer to Salt Bath Quenchant. Desludging of the salt bath. To close the lid. After residence time (according to the required treatment). .Operation of Salt Bath Put the member to be heat treated in it for the predetermined time for required heat treatment process.

.Reaction Control Issues Explosive generation of steam due to water or moisture being inadvertently introduced into the molten salt. aluminium or magnesium alloys under certain conditions. Fires caused through the hot molten salts coming into contact with combustible materials. Overheating and eventual explosive decomposition of nitrate salts at temperatures above 550 deg C. Explosive reactions between molten nitrates and Molten nitrates and cyanides may decompose explosively if mixed together.

or aqueous No vaporizing liquid such as carbon tetrachloride. closed containers.  Installing audio/visual alarms that go off when bath temperature exceeds a preset limit. which should be kept in a dry location segregated from incompatible materials such as cyanide salts. . foam.  Avoid mixing of nitrate salts and the cyanide salts. Salt should be stored in well marked. water.Precautions for reaction control Good exhaust around the bath is highly recommended. Water sprinklers should not be installed in and around any molten salt system. extinguishing agent shall be used for fighting fires near molten salt baths.

 Electrical heating gives better heating efficiency.  Every salt bath shall be equipped with an efficient audible and visual alarm device capable of giving a clear warning in the event of the temperature of the salt exceeding a safe predetermined level.Temperature control of the Salt bath  Good temperature control for electrical and fuel fired heating salt baths. .

.Gas/Oil Heating • Low maintenance cost • Not Better Temperature Uniformity and Controllability • Can Be Used for Higher Temperature Processes and with this operating cost increases. • Explosion Hazards • Flue Gases to Deal With • Pollution or Emissions of NO • Hi Initial Cost for Furnace • Relatively complex to Install and Operate x Etc.

x Etc.No Explosion Hazards • No Flue Gases to Deal With • No Pollution or Emissions of NO • Lower Initial Cost for Furnace • Easy to Install and Operate • Can Be Easily Automated • Hi maintenance cost. .Electrical Heating • “100 %” Efficient • Better Temperature Uniformity and Controllability • Can Be Used for Higher Temperature Processes • Safe .

.Atmospheric Control of Salt bath Good atmospheric control is achieved in the salt baths. Avoiding de-C and oxidation of the surface of steels.

Gassing caused by inhalation of fumes given off in the heat treatment process. or water (under certain conditions). These are especially hazardous when caused by molten cyanides since absorption via body tissues can lead to fatal poisoning. Accidental ingestion of cyanide salts. Production of highly toxic hydrogen cyanide gas from reaction of acids.Health/Environmental Hazards Cyanide salts may be proved to be health and environmental enemy. with cyanide salts. Burns resulting from contact with the molten salt. .