Overview of The Heat Treatment
Metal treatment is done for various reasons, but the main ones are to change its physical and sometimes chemical properties. Control of the heat is an essential step in this process to ensure that the desired results are obtained. There are different methods of metal treatment. Technique used will determine whether the resulting metal will be softer or harder, weaker or stronger, or less or more brittle. To get the desired results, time or application and cooling will also be varied.
Metal hardening is the most known method of the heat treatment. The metal is heating to sufficient temperature forming a solid solution. Hardening can be boosted by the addition of impurities. To ensure that these particles are traps, the metal is quenched rapidly.
Case hardening is also done on the metals. It is a process where only the surface of the metal is hardened while the inner retains soft. To produce the hard layer, a combination of higher temperatures and chemicals is used. Carbon is the common element infused on the surface of the metal to be hardened.
Annealing is one more method that you should know about heat treatment. A metal is heated to a point where it gets physical transformation. Once heating is over, air cooling is done. Common metals where annealing is done are silver, brass, aluminum, and copper. The results of the annealing is a metal that is ductile and softer; this will make it workable. In the industrial set up, annealing is done to stabilize the material during the machining; it will not crack during the process.
Normalization is a special heat treatment for the steel. Normalization temperature for steel is higher than in the annealing. Steel is held for a long time till it transforms physically. the normalization aims to increase the machinability, ductility, and steering of the steel.
Metals are made more resilient by a heat-treating method called tampering. Tampering is mostly done on the iron-based alloys. Although these alloys are incredibly hard, they are brittle when used in some applications. Tampering is a necessary process that will make the alloy easy to machine. The process will change the ductility, hardness, and strength of the metal. The heating temperature should not reach a critical point.
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