What You Should Know About the Working of Heat Treatment

What You Should Know About the Working of Heat Treatment

Laura Davis, Manufacturing Technology Insights | Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Heat treatment is used extensively in various industries, including airplanes, automobiles, hardware (like saws and axes), spacecraft, computers, military, and the oil and gas industry.

FREMONT, CA: Even though most people have never heard of heat treatment, it is an essential aspect of manufacturing. This is because heat treatment allows a metal object to be upgraded to resist more wear and tear. Heat treatment is the process of heating and cooling a metal or alloy to a certain temperature to harden it.

Heat treatment is a technique for altering the characteristics of a metal or alloy at various points during the manufacturing process. Heat treatment, for example, can be used to make a material stronger, harder, more durable, or more ductile, depending on the material’s requirements. Heat treatment is used extensively in various industries, including airplanes, automobiles, hardware (like saws and axes), spacecraft, computers, military, and the oil and gas industry.

How Does Heat Treatment Work?

The metal or alloy is heated to a predetermined temperature, often as hot as 2400°F, kept at that degree for a while, and then cooled to obtain the desired effect. The physical structure of the metal, also known as the microstructure, changes when it heats up, resulting in changes in its physical properties. The ‘soak time’ refers to the amount of time the metal is heated. The duration of time a metal is soaked impacts its characteristics since metal soaked for a long time will have distinct microstructure alterations than metal immersed for a short time.

The cooling process also influences the metal’s result following the soak time. It might be quenched rapidly or cooled slowly in the furnace to ensure that the metal reaches the intended result. To get the desired qualities in a metal or alloy, the soak temperature, soak time, cooling temperature, and cooling duration must all be combined. What qualities are changed depends on when the metal is heat-treated during the manufacturing process, and some metals may be treated many times.

It is difficult to figure out what temperatures to heat and cool metals at and how long each step of the method should take for a certain metal or alloy. As a result, metallurgists, or material scientists, investigate the effects of heat on metals and alloys and provide accurate information on how to carry out these procedures appropriately. Manufacturers rely on this data to ensure that their metal components have the desired qualities at the end of the manufacturing process.

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