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Heat Treatment of Metals

Heat Treatment of Metals

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Published by: ikram7550 on Aug 06, 2011
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Heat Treatment of Metals

Heat Treatment 
Metallic materials consist of a microstructure of

small crystals  Crystals in a specific orientation make grains  Grain size and composition is one of the most effective factors that can determine the overall mechanical behavior of the metal  Heat treatment provides an efficient way to manipulate the properties of the metal by controlling rate of diffusion, and the rate of cooling and grain size and composition within the microstructure

Heat Treatment (contd) 
Involves controlled heating and cooling of the

metal or alloy  This imparts desirable physical characteristics due to change in microstructure  Improvements
o o o o

Toughness Hardness Resistance to shock Fatigue resistance 

Two broad categories o Heat treatment of ferrous metals o Heat treatment of non ferrous metals

liquid nitrogen or air blast is used  Heat treatment may consist of more than one cycle . oil. copper. magnesium. beryllium and titanium alloys can also be heat treated  Metal is heated to pre determined temperature and then quenched (cooling)  For quenching water. brine.Heat Treatment (contd)  Steel and its alloys are hardenable  Aluminum.

35% carbon steel is heat treatable  Wrought and cast Aluminum alloys which are precipitation-hardenable are termed as heat treatable  Non heat-treatable alloys depend primarily on cold work to increase strength  Heating to decrease strength and increase ductility (annealing) is used for both heat treatable and non heat treatable alloys .Heat Treatment (contd)  Carbon steel and its alloys heat treatment is governed by carbon content. Approximately above 0.

Steel Heat Treatment Processes  Six basic types of processes o Stress relieving o Hardening o Annealing o Case hardening o Surface hardening o Tempering .

Stress Relieving-Steel  Relieves the stresses developed in parts     due to cold work. machining or welding Parts heated to below critical temperature 1100-1200ºF Held at this temperature for 1 hr per inch of thickness Cooled slowly in still air at room temperature or in furnace .


Phase Diagram (Understanding Heat Treatment) .

Critical Temperature  Temperature at which steel will harden is called its critical temperature  Critical temperature depends on the type of alloy and carbon content (1400-2400°F)  After heating part is quenched in brine.Hardening-Steel  Part is heated to pre determined temperature. oil or air blast o o o Water or brine is used to quench plain carbon steel Oil used to quench alloy steels Cold air blast is used for high alloy steel  Quenching leaves the steel hard and brittle. this brittleness needs to be reduced by Tempering or Drawing . water.


Phase Diagram (Understanding Heat Treatment) .

Hardening Temperatures Carbon Steel .

Tempering or Drawing  Process reduces some of the brittleness of      hardened part Part is heated below critical temperature (3001300°F) and held until complete penetration is achieved Cooling is done in still air Internal stresses are relieved Toughness and impact resistance increases Hardness and strength reduces .


Phase Diagram (Understanding Heat Treatment) .


Annealing  Annealing reduces the hardness of the part to     make it easy to machine or work Metal is heated to 50-100°F above its critical temperature (normal hardening temperature) Holding time depends upon the shape and thickness of the piece Slow cooling is performed in some insulating material such as ashes or a furnace Primarily used for ferrous metals. but non ferrous metals can also be annealed after they become work hardened .

Annealing .

heated slightly above its upper critical temperature  Then cooled slowly to room temperature  Relieves stresses developed during o o o Machining Welding Forming .Normalizing  Process closely related to Annealing  Metal.


Case Hardening  Low carbon steel cannot be effectively hardened by conventional heat treatment  Part is heated to red heat and small quantity of carbon or nitrogen is introduced in its surface  This produces a hard shell on the surface  Following three methods o o o Pack method or carburizing Liquid salt method Gas method .

Pack Method or Carburizing  Part is buried in a carbonaceous material in a container  Container is placed in a furnace for 15-60 minutes  Time controls the depth of the case  After removal from the furnace part is quenched .


Liquid Salt Method  Part is heated in molten cyanide salt bath up to an hour  Cyanide is introduced in surface and immersion time determines the thickness of the hard case  After holding for desired time part is quenched .

Gas Method-Nitriding  Part is heated in a special airtight chamber  Ammonia gas is introduced at high temperature  Ammonia gas decomposes into nitrogen and hydrogen  Nitrogen enters the steel surface to form nitride  Surface becomes extremely hard .

Part Being Removed from Cyanide Bath .

Padlock Shackles Being Loaded in Nitriding Furnace .

2 to 15.9 mm Laser beam focused on area to be hardened. Small area gets self quenched within few seconds.Surface Hardening  Surface hardening is the process that permits the surface of high carbon and alloy steels to be hardened without affecting the internal structure of the metal  Three techniques o o o Flame Hardening: Surface is heated rapidly by flame of gas torch and then quenched Induction Hardening: Heating is performed by high frequency electrical current and then quenched Laser Hardening: 3. Part does not get warped or distorted .


to soften strain-hardened (work-hardened) and heat treated alloy structures. . to provide hardening by precipitation of constituents from solid solution. to reduce chemical segregation of cast structures and to improve their workability  Annealing. to effect solid solution of alloying constituents and improve mechanical properties  Precipitation heat treatments. to relieve stresses.Aluminum Alloys Heat Treatment  Preheating or homogenizing. and to stabilize properties and dimensions  Solution heat treatments.

"ingot preheating´  Purposes depend upon the alloy.Preheating or Homogenization  This thermal operation is applied to ingots prior to hot working . and fabricating process involved o o Principal objectives is to improve workability The microstructure of most alloys in the as-cast condition is quite heterogeneous. Microstructure is homogenized . product.

and have led to the concept of different annealing mechanisms or processes.Annealing  The distorted. to which it tends to revert  Lower-purity aluminum and commercial aluminum alloys undergo these structural changes only with annealing at elevated temperatures  Accompanying the structural reversion are changes in the various properties affected by cold working  These changes occur in several stages. dislocated structure resulting from cold working of aluminum is less stable than the strain-free. . according to temperature or time. annealed state.

Dissolution of soluble phases Quenching. Precipitation of solute atoms either at room temperature (natural aging) or elevated temperature (artificial aging) .Aluminum Heat Treatment to Increase Strength  A three-step process o o o Solution heat treatment. Development of supersaturation Age hardening.

usually near room temperature.Quenching  The most critical step in the sequence of heat treating operations  The objective of quenching is to preserve as nearly intact as possible the solid solution formed at the solution heat treating temperature. . by rapidly cooling to some lower temperature.

Aluminum Copper Alloy .

Aluminum Heat Treatment Designations  F As Fabricated .Used for products that have been strengthened by heat treatment.  O Annealed . with or without subsequent heat treatment.  W Solution Heat Treated .  T Solution Heat Treated .This is seldom encountered because it is an unstable temper that applies only to alloys that spontaneously age at ambient temperature after heat treatment. or cold working. hot working. . highest ductility temper  H Strain Hardened .No special control has been performed to the heat treatment or strain hardening after the shaping process such as casting. with or without subsequent strain hardening.(applied to wrought products only) Used for products that have been strengthened by strain hardening.This is the lowest strength.

and naturally aged to a substantially stable condition. T4 .  T10 .Solution heat treated then artificially aged. T7 .Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process.Solution heat treated.Solution heat treated then overaged/stabilized.Solution heat treated. cold worked. then artificially aged.Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process.Heat Treatment Temper Codes        T1 . cold worked. T6 .Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process then artificially aged.Cooled from an elevated temperature shaping process and naturally aged to a substantially stable condition. and naturally aged to a substantially stable condition. T5 . artificially aged.  T8 . T3 . and naturally aged to a substantially stable condition.  T9 . . then cold worked.Solution heat treated. cold worked. T2 .Solution heat treated. cold worked. then artificially aged.

Strain hardened only  H2 . .Strain hardened and partially annealed  H3 .Strain hardened and lacquered or painted.Strain Hardening Codes  H1 .Strain hardened and stabilized  H4 .

Summary  Heat treatment basic concepts  Steel heat treatment Processes  Aluminum Heat Treatment Processes .

Questions? .

Toughness and Strength     Toughness. It is defined as the amount of energy per volume that a material can absorb before rupturing. on the other hand. so that they are not tough. . A material may be strong and tough if it ruptures under high forces. as in the Charpy and Izod impact tests. Toughness is measured in units of joules per cubic metre (J/m3) in the SI system and inch-pound-force per cubic inch (in·lbf/in3) in US customary units. Tests can be done by using a pendulum and some basic physics to measure how much energy it will hold when released from a particular height. exhibiting high strains. strength indicates how much force the material can support. brittle materials may be strong but with limited strain values. is the resistance to fracture of a material when stressed. in materials science and metallurgy. while toughness indicates how much energy a material can absorb before rupture. Strength and toughness are related. By having a sample at the bottom of its swing a measure of toughness can be found. Generally speaking.

 Shock resistance is the property by virtue of which material will withstand impact or thermal shock without failure  Fatigue resistance is related to number of stress cycle a material can take before failure .

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