Heat treat scales are black or brown flaky materials that attach to the surface of a metal part when exposed to high heat. These scales can form at different temperatures depending on the metal composition of the part it is being applied to. For example, high-alloy steels are more resistant to scales than other metals with lower alloy composition and lower carbon content. If these heat treat scales are not removed, the flakes can come off inside a machine or wear out tools being used on the part. These scales also increase the possibility and risk of defects on the surface of the finished part. Therefore, heat treat scale removal becomes a very important step within the manufacturing process.
There are various methods of heat treat scale removal, with some methods being chemical scale removal, pickling within an acid solution, electric removal, or mechanical removal. Heat treaters usually prefer mechanical removal, with the most common treatment technique being abrasive blasting. This method is preferred since chemical removal involves the use of dangerous materials that are not healthy for the environment or for the employees in the vicinity of the process taking place. Due to the tough chemical makeup of the heat treat scales, one of the most popular abrasive medias used for blasting in the heat treat scale removal process is Brown Fused Alumina.
Great Lakes Minerals LLC (GLM), an American owned company, is a producer of refined/sized Brown Fused Alumina, also known as Brown Fused Aluminum Oxide, and other alumina based industrial mineral products used as raw materials in the refractory and abrasive industries, with one main application being heat treat scale removal. GLM has the capability to crush, size, package and warehouse Brown Fused Aluminum Oxide and other industrial minerals in order to fulfill all heat treat scale removal needs.
Our state-of-the-art facility is centrally located in Wurtland, Kentucky, strategically positioned on the Ohio River and is one of the most efficient processors of Brown Fused Alumina in the industry. All production processes are controlled via a state-of-the-art PLC system and every pallet of finished product is bar coded upon packaging which provides permanent QC traceability. The GLM facility also uses some of the most advanced dust collection technology available, resulting in much greater visibility within blast cabinets or blast rooms. Our difference in quality is immediately apparent to clients when compared to competitor products. Upon shipment, product certifications are automatically emailed to customers. GLM’s core management team are some of the most qualified and experienced professionals in the industry, most of which have been in place since inception over 20 years ago.
We produce abrasive grains specifically for heat treat scale removal applications – in sufficient quantities for the full range of grit sizes (6 – 240). Our fused aluminum oxide abrasive grains are made for maximum toughness and hardness to deliver superior performance in your heat treat scale removal applications.
Brown Fused Alumina is one of the best abrasives available for heat treat scale removal, in terms of cleaning potential, low dusting properties and reusability. It is an extremely aggressive media and, due to its’ composition of 95% pure aluminum oxide, it will not promote rust or ferric contamination on the surfaces it is being applied to. It is commonly used in blast cabinets, blast rooms and any production environment where spent abrasive can be reclaimed. The advantage of Brown Fused Alumina for heat treat scale removal is it can be reused up to 7 times for most applications, unlike other blasting media options, such as garnet or coal slag which generally have a one or two time use.
Customers of Great Lakes Minerals employ Brown Fused Alumina for a variety of purposes, including:
- Rust removal
- Surface preparation for automotive components
- Precision aviation blasting
- Surface preparation for thermal spray coatings
- Cleaning and preparing aerospace components such as turbine blades
- Cleaning of investment casting surfaces
- Steam turbine scale removal
- Mill scale removal
- Heat treat scale removal
- Glass etching or frosting
- Precision finishing of medical devices and precision parts
- Monument lettering
We produce Brown Fused Alumina abrasive grains specifically for blasting applications, including heat treat scale removal – in sufficient quantities for the full range of grit sizes (6 – 240). Our brown fused aluminum oxide abrasive grains are made for maximum toughness and hardness to deliver superior performance in your heat treat scale removal abrasive applications and comply with all major industry standards including American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B74.12 Table 3, MIL A21380 B, CID-AA-59316, CSS12 and General Electric Aircraft Engine Group D50tF5-S8 Class D. GLM is an approved Pratt & Whitney supplier.
Contact us at 606.833.8383 or visit us on the web at www.greatlakesminerals.com. We look forward to working with you for your heat treat scale removal and other abrasive related needs.