Applying Lessons from Brazing to Heat Treating

Thermal-Vac was founded in the 1980s as a vacuum brazing house. Over the years, our scope of services has expanded to meet the needs of our customers. Our move into heat treating expanded our capabilities in important ways, allowing us to provide a one-stop shop.

Brazing and heat treating are different specialties

Heat treating is a natural complement to brazing and other services we provide, like copper plating. But relatively few businesses in our industry branch out the way we have. Sticking to one thing can be good because it allows a team to master a particular process. Tackling new processes isn’t just a matter of investing capital in new equipment. It also requires discipline to bring the new methods up to the standards of well-established routines.

Brazing is hands-on and can require years of training to complete with accuracy and consistency. It often comes into play for products that can’t be assembled any other way, because they need joints with the high strength brazing provides, or because their components aren’t joinable by other means. Exceptionally narrow tolerances leave little room for error, and mistakes can be impossible to reverse.

Compared to brazing, heat treating is more commonly available and tends to have fewer technical challenges. Of course, that doesn’t mean every job is easy. Parts incorporating specialized materials like Inconel-718 introduce special handling requirements that call for vacuum furnaces with precise temperature and pressure controls. 

Different specialties, same rigor

As an AS9100 and ISO 9001 accredited facility, Thermal-Vac follows strict quality control protocols throughout its processes. Compliance with these strict standards assures our customers that the work we do meets their specifications.

Meeting strict process requirements is not easy or cheap. When we think about moving into a new specialty area, we may spend a year or more fine-tuning processes to ensure they will fit seamlessly into our broader compliance culture.

Heat treating was no different. Doing every job to the highest standard of quality is the only way to do it. A facility like ours can’t afford to relax protocols for jobs that might not need as much attention to detail as others. Each job is a chance to practice and perfect the techniques of our craft. For our customers outside the aerospace industry, that means jobs are done to standards well beyond what many industries require.

Many of the lessons we had learned as a specialized brazing shop translated into the heat treating context. Regular stop points to verify quality, involvement by engineers, and the use of technology to verify consistent results all carry over from brazing to heat treating.  

Thermal-Vac is dedicated to providing one-stop service

The lessons Thermal-Vac has learned over the years as a brazing facility continue to inform every aspect of what we do, from initial engineering review of new projects to final quality inspections. Want to know more about how Thermal-Vac does it? Give us a call. We love sharing our process.


Thermal-Vac has received certified recognition by these top accreditation programs.

  • Heat Treating