Businesses under the metalworking industry can opt for a wide array of processes to ensure that their products can attain notable properties and characteristics. One of these processes is hardening.
Hardening is a metalworking process that can increase the hardness of metal products. This process is normally conducted by exposing the products to a specific amount of heat before proceeding with controlled cooling. The main purpose of increasing the metal products’ hardness is to ensure that they obtain higher resistance to plastic deformation.
Two types of hardening processes that can be utilised in working with metal products are case hardening and induction hardening.
Case hardening is a hardening process that exposes metal workpieces to carburisation. This process is done by heating the workpieces to over 880°C so they can become austenitic. Subsequently, a carbon-emitting medium will transfer the coal to the workpieces so they can receive more carbon without affecting their carbon density. The transfer of carbon, which is known as carburisation, enables the hardening of the workpieces. Once the workpieces have completed the carburisation process, they will be annealed to restore their much-needed plasticity.
The primary purpose of case hardening is to increase their surface hardness and vibration resistance while retaining their ductile and elastic core microstructure. This process can ensure that metal products can boast increased lifetime, enhanced wear-resistance, and improved flexibility and weldability, making them useful under stressful conditions. Some notable applications of case hardening include the production of cooking utensils and the reinforcement of metal girders.
Induction hardening, on the other hand, entails the heat treating, quenching, and annealing of workpieces separately. The parts are exposed to an electromagnetic alternating field through a current-carrying coil. The field used for the induction hardening can produce eddy currents, which are known for flowing in the opposite direction to the currents that generate heat. Once the parts are placed inside the coil, they are then heated within or above their transformation temperatures before exposing them to the quenching process. This specific process is monitored by a control system to yield great results.
The primary purpose of induction hardening is to increase the mechanical properties of metal workpieces. One of the advantages of induction hardening is that it can increase the wear resistance of the workpieces. The workpieces are likewise expected to gain increased strength and fatigue life once induction hardening is applied. Workpieces can also be tempered even after the induction hardening process so their hardness level can be adjusted on the fly.
Both case hardening and induction hardening can be beneficial for industries that want high-quality metal workpieces. To know more about these processes, you can contact us at Alpha Detroit Heat Treatment. We provide a wide range of services for all your heat treatment needs. Our expertise allows us to suggest the most appropriate process for your heat treatment requirements.