Machine Heat Treat
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Know More About Heat Treatment Processes
Heat treatment alters the behavioural properties of the metals. It is done by applying heat at an extreme temperature to the metal and then cooling it down at a very low temperature. The different forms of heat treat method include annealing, hardening, precipitation, case hardening, selective hardening, ageing and stress relieving.
The method used for changing the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of a metal by the application of controlled heating and cooling is popular as heat treatment. This method is basically used for improving or restoring the manufacturability of a product. Heat treat processes are commonly applied in manufacturing, metallurgy, welding and hot forming.
Heat treating is applied to raw materials or on the finished products. The method involves heating the materials to extreme temperatures for increasing the internal stress. After heating at extremely high temperature, it is then subsequently cooled down at a very low temperature. This process is known as quenching, which strengthens the internal lattice structure. The process even brings finery in grains, which have an increased tensile power.
Some of the most common forms of heat treatment methods include annealing, hardening, precipitation, case hardening, selective hardening, ageing and stress relieving. Heat treating is usually carried out for softening, hardening and materially modifying a product. Softening reduces the material's hardness while improving the resistance and ductility. It offers toughness and even improves the grain size. This process is popular as annealing. It is typically carried out for restoring the ductility and relaxing the metal stresses in the material.
Hardening is carried out usually on steel for increasing its potency and wear and tear properties. Sufficient alloy and carbon content is needed for carrying out the hardening method. When it is present in sufficient quantity, the steel gets hardened directly. If there is lack of carbon content, the method of carbon enrichment may be used for increasing the car carbon ration in the carbon steel components.
Ageing is a method that causes structural change. This change occurs slowly in few metals and alloys at an atmospheric temperature or rapidly at a higher temperature. Maximum stress, hardness values and proof stress are increased with reduction in ductility as a result of this heat treating process. Where ageing is produced by heating at an elevated temperature, the effect is referred as precipitation hardening.
Precipitation hardening is used in metals that are categorized as metals that fit in the precipitation category. Selective hardening basically uses the method of heat treat on an object, which is popular as differential hardening. Case hardening is also a popular method of heat treatment. It refers to the diffusion of surface on monolithic metals.
Stress relieving is the popular method of reducing residual stress in a metal by metal. This is done by heating the metal to a suitable temperature and then holding it for some time so that the internal stress is released by creep. After getting soaked, the metal is cooled down gradually preventing the reintroduction of stress. This heat treatment process is applied to relieve stresses that are induced by quenching, casting, normalising, cold-working, welding or machining.
About the Author
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Machine Shop Training: Heat Treating Furnaces ATI General #3