How a Heat Treatment Modifies Metal Properties

26 March 2020

A heat treatment does far more than just change the physical appearance of metals. It also can modify the properties of them to reach the intended goal. This type of treatment involves heating and cooling the metals at the right temperatures to alter their microstructure. How long the treatment requires depends upon the size of the project as well as the type of metal. We will discuss how heat treatments modify the metal properties as well as the different types of these treatments in the following.

The Main Goals of Heat Treatment for Metals

• Increases the hardness and or strength of the metal to make it more durable. It will be additionally resistant to cracks, chips and breaks as a result.

• Softens the chosen metals to increase their workability. This helps to form them into the right shape more effectively. Regardless of how you are moulding the metals into shape, the heating and cooling processes of these treatments can help produce the ideal outcome.

• Heat treatments stabilise the physical and mechanical characteristics of the metal to ensure that they will stand up to a number of environmental and work conditions.

• Lowers the amount of magnetism that a metal has, especially in the case of iron, cobalt and nickel.

• Reduces that amount of residual stress that a fabrication process can inflict on metals. Less damage and waste happen when this stress is lowered.

• Heat treatments ensure the dimensional stability of metal as well in certain circumstances.

• Helps the metals to become resistant to electrical current so that they can be used in a variety of situations involving electricity.

Metals Differ in Their Response to Heat Treatments

Since each metal has a unique chemical composition, metals respond differently to heat treatments regardless of the method that is utilised. Alterations of their structural and physical properties happen when they reach their ideal temperature. Also, their composition will determine the method of heat treatment as well as the time it takes and the rate of cooling that is necessary.

Examples of the Types of Heat Treatment

• Age Hardening uses a low-temperature to perform the heat treatment to strengthen metals.

• Solution Heat Treatment heats metal to the right temperature and then holds it there until the alloy elements turn to a solid state. The metal is then quenched to cool it.

• Precipitation Hardening is a combination of the solution heat treatment, age hardening and quenching and is for increasing the hardness or strength of an alloy.

• Annealing softens the metals by heating them to the correct temperature and then, cooling them slowly to accomplish the desired result.

Ensure that the metals you wish to modify receive the right heat treatment to accomplish your goal. Also, turn to the professionals if you do not have any experience with these treatments to ensure ideal results.

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