Common Heat Treatment Methods
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. Heat treatment is done in various techniques depending on the desired properties. The metal will be less or more brittle, stronger or weaker, or softer or harder depending on the technique that is used. Apart from the intensity of the heat, time is an important factor in the metal treatment; heating and cooling time should be controlled.
The first method of heat treatment is the hardening. Heat is applied on the metal until when it liquify. To increase the hardness, impurities are added in the solution. To ensure that these particles are traps, the metal is quenched rapidly.
Case hardening is also done on the metals. It solely concentrates on making the surface of the metal hard while the inside is still soft. The hardening of the outer layer is achieved using the chemical and temperature. Carbon is the common element infused on the surface of the metal to be hardened.
Annealing is another method of heat treatment. Every metal has a particular time that it is heated until physical change. After the heating, the metal is air-cooled. Common metals where annealing is done are silver, brass, aluminum, and copper. the annealing aims to make the metal ductile and softer and thus workable. In the industrial set up, annealing is done to stabilize the material during the machining; it will not crack during the process.
Steel has a special treatment process called normalization. It is heated at a temperature higher than in the annealing. It is held in the critical temperature for a long time until when it transform. the normalization aims to increase the machinability, ductility, and steering of the steel.
Tampering is a heat-treating process that is meant to make a metal more resilient. Tampering is mostly done on the iron-based alloys. Although the alloys are hard, their brittleness limits their applications in some areas. Once the alloy undergoes tampering, it can be machined without on problem. Hardness, ductility, and strength are the physical properties that will be changed by the process. The key to tampering is to heat the metal below the critical point.
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