4 Types of Metal Surface Hardening Offered by Alpha Detroit

19 May 2023

Alpha Detroit offers a wide range of metal surface hardening processes so that metal parts and components will be protected from damaging elements. After all, these things are often utilised by various industries given their reliable strength, outstanding longevity, and astonishing appeal. Their versatility and flexibility also allow them to create various shapes, colours, and finishes.

But to ensure that they remain durable and long-lasting, a lot of them must undergo metal surface hardening processes. Metal surface hardening is a technique utilised to enhance the mechanical properties of metals. Some properties it can enhance are strength, toughness, and wear resistance. At Alpha Detroit, we make sure that any metal part or component of our clients will be durable, appealing, and long-lasting through metal surface hardening.

Various types of metal surface hardening can be carried out by our team at Alpha Detroit. Some of these types are as follows.

1. Flame Hardening

Flame hardening is a metal surface hardening process that can be done by directing a flame towards the metal surface to heat it to the required temperature. The metal workpiece is then quenched in water or oil to cool it down rapidly, resulting in a hardened surface layer. This process is typically used for low to medium-carbon steel and cast iron.

One great thing about flame hardening is it is quick. It can also achieve a high level of hardness on metal surfaces. It can even be utilised to harden specific areas of a metal workpiece. It can, however, result in distortion or wrapping due to uneven heating and cooling. A brittle surface layer may likewise show up, making the workpiece susceptible to cracking under high stress.

2. Through Hardening

Through hardening, also known as quenching and tempering, can be done by heating a workpiece to a high temperature before rapidly cooling it through a quenching medium. The workpiece is then tempered at a lower temperature to reduce its brittleness and improve its toughness. This type of hardening can be used for medium to high-carbon steels.

Similar to flame hardening, through hardening can also produce materials with a high level of hardness, strength, durability, and toughness. Distortion, however, may still occur during this process. Without tempering correctly, workpieces can lose their ductility and toughness.

3. Case Hardening

Case hardening is carried out by heating metal in a carbon-rich environment to absorb carbon into its surface layer. The metal is then quenched to cool it down rapidly, which results in a hardened surface layer with a softer, more ductile core. Low-carbon steels and alloy steels can take advantage of case hardening.

Compared to flame hardening, the process of case hardening can produce a harder surface layer over the workpieces. It can also be utilised to harden specific areas of the metal without affecting the rest of the workpiece. The process, unfortunately, can be slower and more expensive than other hardening processes. Surfaces can also be prone to chipping or cracking once the metal workpieces are under high stress.

4. Induction Hardening

Induction hardening can also harden the surface layer of the metal quickly and uniformly. During this process, the metal is heated using an induction coil to a high temperature, and then rapidly cooled by a quenching medium. It can work effectively on high-carbon and alloy steels.

One of the benefits of this process is it can generate a deeper hardening depth than other processes. It is also faster than case hardening. It can, however, be more costly than flame hardening. It may also cause distortion or warping due to uneven heating and cooling.

All these methods can be acquired from us at Alpha Detroit. Working with us can guarantee you parts and products with a better surface layer that matches your applications.

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