Peter Sanborn Passing

Peter Sanborn 1954 – 2020

Calix Ceramic Solutions

MRF Safety Measures for COVID-19


MRF is closely monitoring the updates around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Even though, for the time being, our region is mildly affected in comparison to other areas around the country, we have taken precautionary measures based on the given advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

For the safety of our staff and our customers, we are asking our sales team to work with customers through digital channels as much as possible. We’re also postponing some of our in-person events while turning others into virtual developments to further avoid unnecessary risks.

We will keep you updated of any changes or modifications that will need to take place during these trying times. From all of us here at MRF, Stay Safe.


Ceramics Expo 2020 is Rescheduled for September 22 – 23, 2020

Ceramics Expo 2020 provides an unrivaled opportunity to see first-hand and up close the innovations in materials, processes, and products that are driving today’s ceramic manufacturing industry.”
We look forward to seeing you at the expo this year. Come by and chat with us, or better yet, make an appointment with a member of our sales team now to meet at the Ceramics Expo. Let us, at MRF, help you custom design a furnace that works for your process or provide you with the right support for your current system.

MRF is a manufacturer of high-temperature vacuum and controlled atmosphere furnaces for processing ceramics, metals, alloys and synthetic materials. The company has been providing custom and standard furnaces since 1990, aiding in the development and production of innovative materials found in Medical, Aerospace, Energy, Electronics, Nuclear and many other sectors within specialized industries.

Enabling a clear, efficient, and electrified future. (n.d.). Retrieved from



A program of regular inspection and maintenance of your vacuum furnace is essential to the safe and reliable operation of the equipment and should be instituted and followed rigorously. Order replacement parts early or keep spares on-site to avoid unnecessary furnace downtime. Basic heating devices such as heating elements and shield insulation used in MRF and other competitors’ furnaces are designed for ease of maintenance. MRF prides itself on intelligent and robust designs that facilitate an active maintenance program. Please contact us for more information or fill out a request form for field service here.


What to look for when performing your maintenance and care checklist:


A. Vacuum System (mechanical pumps two-stage rotary)

Mechanical vacuum pumps should be checked and repaired as required. A partial list follows:

*Check drive belts to insure they are not worn.

*Check drive belts to ensure that tension is proper.

*Check oil leaks at the shaft seals.

*Check or Change the oil.

*Check for dirt and water accumulation.

*Drain drip legs.

*Check motor mounting bolts.

*Check and ensure vacuum connectors are tight.

*Grease bearings.

*Check electrical connectors.

*Check bearing housing oil.

*Monitor electrical current during operation.

*Check inlet screen filters.

*If vacuum levels are marginal, perform a blank-off test.

B. Vacuum System (diffusion pumps): As required

*Check and/or change oil level.

*Check and/or flush water-cooling circuits.

*Check and ensure that vacuum connections are tight.

*Clean refrigeration compressor.

*Check heating elements to ensure they are tight and indicate proper
electrical parameters.

C. Turbo and /or Cyro pumping system: To be determined as required

*Check and/or install rebuild kits as required.

*Clean Refrigeration Compressor.

D. Vacuum valves & pneumatic equipment

*Check regulator pressure setting.

*Check air supply filter is drained and operating properly.

*Check pilot valves not leaking excess air.

*Ensure that moving O-ring seals are cleaned or changed when there are indications of excess wear.

*Check filter element.

E. Vacuum chamber and general arrangement

*Check O-rings- Clean and grease as necessary.

*Check flanges and clean. Polish with Scotch Brite if necessary.

*Clean sight glass and pyrometer ports.

*Leak check or conduct rate of rise test…leak detector required.

*Check the chamber for evidence of hotspots and improper cooling.

*With a brush or other devices remove major oxides and contamination from
the hot zone and accessible areas of the cold wall chamber. Blow out
contaminate with a dry air hose.

*Run furnace to near maximum design temperature and maximum
vacuum to burn out furnace contaminates.

*Check the fit and sealing of doors, gaskets, seals, etc. to ensure cleanliness,
freedom from cracks or gouges and retention of elasticity. Give particular
attention to all doors and or lids where work regularly passes.

F. Power supply, interlocks, electrical and hot zone

Power supply issues:

*Check primary and secondary wiring cables to ensure they are tight
and free from overheating, pitting or arcing.

*Check for proper ventilation and air cooling or proper water flow
per unit or transformer.

*Check contactor, motor starters, light bulbs and indicator lamps for
serviceability, excessive contact wear and or poor connectivity.

*Check and clean air circulation vents, filters on heat exchangers and
cooling fans.

*Check power feed throughs (PFT) for the condition of copper,
connectivity, and serviceability of all components.

Interlocks and alarms: Periodic checks of all safety interlocks and alarms should be performed. Particular attention should be given to over-temperature safety devices, hazardous gas, low air pressure, insufficient cooling water, vacuum, oil temperature, and low oil alarms.

*Check over-temperature interlock and fail-safe devices, making certain that the control instrument or recorder drives/operates in the proper direction.

*Test visible or audible alarms for proper signals.

*Test manual and automatic turn-down equipment.

*Check water interlock for proper shutdown of equipment.

*Check vacuum interlock.

*Check all relief valves and clean if necessary.


*Check thermocouples and lead wires for broken insulators, shorts,
and loose connections.

*Check and inspect all electrical switches and contacts, repair as required.

*Check instrumentation for “on conditions” and active operation.

*Review power instrumentation and zone settings.

Hot zone:

*Check furnace internals in detail for heating element, heat shield,
work support or mechanism failure or deterioration.

*Check element current balance.

G. Water and gas system

Water system:

*Check flow switch operation, clean and adjust as required.

*Flush water circuits.
*Check and flush water filter and strainer.

*Check for water leaks and loose water hose connection.

*Check and clean water chiller.

Inert Gas System

*Check and clean relief valve.

*Check and clean backflow preventors.
*For Hydrogen system use- check burn-off igniter for proper function.

*For Hydrogen system use- check blow off port for proper function.

*For Hydrogen system use- check inert gas purge flow.

*Check each gas pressure switch for proper setting.

*Check gas flow switch for proper setting.

Expos and Conferences Oh My!

What’s New at MRF

New President

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Charles Miller, Jr. as President of MRF. He also sits as a member of our Board of Directors. Charles is a results-orientated global business executive with a passion for delivering strategic, operational, and sales leadership.

He received his BS degree in Ceramic Sciences and Engineering from Alfred University. He later attended The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Aresty Executive Education Program for business and leadership training.

Charles began his career, at Centorr Vacuum Industries (TI Group PLC subsidiary), developing non-oxide ceramic processing equipment and implementing scale-up expansions for the company. Before joining MRF Chuck was President of Harper International, a global leader in thermal processing plants for carbon fiber production, and other advanced materials.

Charles has served as an advisory board member for select industry and commercial organizations. He has also been named as an inventor or co-inventor in numerous US and international patents. With his in-depth understanding and experience establishing new ventures, positive growth is expected in the coming years for MRF.


New Look New Form 

Graphite Hot zone parts



MRF’s recent update and logo change is all part of a re-branding process that began earlier this year. With all the new practices and business strategies being implemented, it was only a matter of time before a new look was created for our website. And here it is!!!!

refractory heat shielding

We hope that the new bolder colors and immediate access points on the front page will make it easier for you to explore our site and find just what it is you are looking for. MRF offers customized products for those that require a more unique approach for their projects and their vacuum furnace needs. We offer a variety of add-on options for your customization needs and our more recent addition to aide customers is our parts request form. This new form will help guide you through the information needed to get you the right part for your furnace and help expedite the overall process. Check out the page here.

Shanghai Ceramics Expo 2019 booth display

Shanghai Ceramics Expo 2019


The Shanghai International Industrial Ceramics Expo was created as a practical platform for promoting industrial communication and grasping market opportunities for Chinese and foreign industrial ceramics industries.”(Events, Shows and Engineering, 2019)

Shanghai Ceramics Expo 2019  is now in its 11th year and continues to bring to light new products and technologies in the industrial ceramics industry and offering “deep insight into the new trend of the future development of domestic industrial ceramics market.”(“Shanghai International Industrial Ceramics Expo 2019-2020 Trade Shows in China”, 2019)

MRF was asked to give a presentation on the design and capabilities of our furnaces during the Shanghai Ceramics Expo 2019 and our representatives in China, Inconelsh, did an excellent job of supporting our people there during this process and throughout the Shanghai International Industrial Ceramics Expo.

A  photo of MRF’s booth at the 11th International Industrial Ceramics Expo, Shanghai. A very active and engaging crowd visited with MRF and Inconelsh on the opening day of the exposition.

Shanghai Ceramics Expo 2019 Booth














Paul’s presentation at the Shanghai Ceramics Expo 2019 was well received and well attended. He was peppered with more questions than any other speaker, which illustrates the level of interest. Paul represented MRF’s capabilities and technology very well!

Shanghai Ceramics Expo 2019 Guest speaker for MRF P. Blaisdell














Events, A., Shows, T. and Engineering, I. (2019). Shanghai International Industrial Ceramics Expo. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jun. 2019].


Shanghai International Industrial Ceramics Expo 2019-2020 Trade Shows in China. (2019). Retrieved from