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A Guide to Heat Treatment Solutions

The process of heat treatment includes things such as controlled heating and cooling metals with the aim of altering their mechanical and physical qualities without changing their shapes. In some instances, this process is carried out inadvertently because of the method used in manufacturing which could either heat up or cool the metal for example forming or welding. We share details of heat treatment solutions below so as to grow your knowledge in this field.

Annealing is a way of heating steel and keeping the material to a specific temperature by cooling down at an appropriate rate. This enhances the softness, machinability and cold working features of the steel and even aids in eliminating the stresses of the material thus it gets the desired structure. In full annealing, the material is heated up to a temperature where the carbide becomes a solution either partially or fully and is then cooled down. Sub critical annealing happens at a temperature which is lower than that where the carbide starts to become a solution.

Structural changes are as a result of the ageing process. This usually takes place in definite metals and alloys at high temperatures or atmospheric temperature. Because of ageing, proof stress, hardness values and maximum stress go up as the ductility reduces. There are specific conditions where ageing is achieved through heating at a high temperature. This is typically known as artificial ageing and it results in precipitation hardening.

Carburizing is a procedure which includes introducing carbon to the steel’s surface area which has a low carbon content. It could be effected by heating it inside a liquid, gaseous or solid medium that has carbon. When carried out at high temperatures, it gives a carbon supply which will be absorbed by the carburized substance. The carbon concentration and its depth in the steel surfaces are changed by controlling the time and temperature which are needed by the heat treatment.

Hardening is a process which enhances the hardness of the material using heat treat. Normally, this implies heating to a temperature which is more than the critical range by maintaining the temperature at a range where diffusion will be achieved by quenching in air, oil or water.

Heat treat is used in steel hardening in the process of induction hardening. It is carried out by alternating the magnetic field to the temperature which is higher or near to the transformation range and then it is followed by quenching.

Normalizing is a heat treatment method in which heating to is done and when required, even maintaining the temperature at a certain level and then cooling down the cool air follows. This allows the cooling to occur quickly at a medium level.

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