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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heat treatment is a method used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material. The most common application is metallurgical. Heat treatments are also used in the manufacture of many other materials, such as glass. Heat treatment involves the use of heating or chilling, normally to extreme temperatures, to achieve a desired result such as hardening or softening of a material. Heat treatment techniques include annealing, case hardening, precipitation strengthening, tempering and quenching. It is noteworthy that while the term heat treatment applies only to processes where the heating and cooling are done for the specific purpose of altering properties intentionally, heating and cooling often occur incidentally during other manufacturing processes such as hot forming or welding.
1 Heat treatment of metals and alloys 1.1 Annealing 1.2 Hardening and tempering (quenching and tempering) 1.3 Precipitation hardening 1.4 Selective hardening 2 Specification 2.1 Case hardening 2.2 Through hardening 2.3 Annealing 3 See also 4 References 4.1 Bibliography 5 External links
Heat treatment of metals and alloys
Metallic materials consist of a microstructure of small crystals called "grains" or crystallites. The nature of the grains (i.e. 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 within the microstructure. Complex heat treating schedules are often devised by metallurgists to optimize an alloy's mechanical properties. In the aerospace industry, a superalloy may undergo five or more different heat treating operations to develop the desired properties. This can lead to quality problems depending on the accuracy of the furnace's temperature controls and timer.
Heat treating furnace at 1,800 °F (980 °C)
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depending on alloy and application) are sometimes used to impart further ductility. When a precipitation hardening alloy is quenched. tool steels such as 2767 or H13 hot work tool steel should be quenched in forced air. In precipitation hardening alloys.Wikipedia. although some yield strength is lost. polymer dissolved in water. Most applications require that quenched parts be tempered (heat treated at a low temperature. the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.e.silicon). brine. Austenitic stainless steels must be quench-annealed to become fully corrosion resistant. naturally aging alloys may be stored in a freezer to prevent hardening until after further operations . During annealing. Hardening and tempering (quenching and tempering) Main article: Quench To harden by quenching. resulting in a soft metal. 316). In some applications. Upon being rapidly cooled. a portion of austenite (dependent on alloy composition) will transform to martensite. a metal (usually steel or cast iron) must be heated into the austenitic crystal phase and then quickly cooled. Typical annealing processes include. often three hundred degrees Fahrenheit or one hundred fifty degrees Celsius) to impart some toughness. The quenched hardness of a metal depends upon its chemical composition and quenching method. These intermetallic particles will nucleate and fall out of solution and act as a reinforcing phase. oil. cracking and distortion). Alloys may age "naturally" meaning that the precipitates form at room temperature. A method for alleviating this problem is called tempering. and copper. Untempered martensite. quenching a certain steel too fast can result in cracking. Aging a "solutionized" metal will allow the alloying elements to diffuse through the microstructure and form intermetallic particles. produce an opposite effect when these are quenched. or brine. and low alloy or medium-tensile steels such as XK1320 or AISI 1040 should be quenched in brine or water. for example. precipitates dissolve into the matrix. or they may age "artificially" when precipitates only form at elevated temperatures. When an annealed part is removed from the furnace and allowed to cool in air. and forced air. as they work-harden significantly. ductile metal.assembly of rivets. 2 of 4 10/11/2009 4:37 PM . Precipitation hardening Main article: Precipitation hardening Some metals are classified as precipitation hardening metals. they anneal. is too brittle to be useful for most applications. and full annealing. Depending on the alloy and other considerations (such as concern for maximum hardness vs. oil. When an annealed part is allowed to cool in the furnace. "stress relief" annealing to recover cold work. "solutionizing" the alloy. from fastest to slowest. its alloying elements will be trapped in solution. Annealing typically results in a soft. metals such as austenitic stainless steel (304. However. "normalizing".Heat treatment . Higher tempering temperatures (may be up to thirteen hundred degrees Fahrenheit or seven hundred degrees Celsius. it is called a "full anneal" heat treatment. may be easier with a softer part. which is why High-tensile steels like AISI 4140 should be quenched in oil. while very hard and strong. a hard brittle crystalline structure. Cooling speeds. it is called a "normalizing" heat treatment. small grains recrystallize to form larger grains. thereby increasing the strength of the alloy. fresh water. However. go from polymer (i.org/wiki/Heat_treatment Annealing Main article: Annealing (metallurgy) Annealing is a technique used to recover cold work and relax stresses within a metal. cooling may be done with forced air or other gas (such as nitrogen).
so "file hard" is specified instead. This value can be roughly approximated as 65% of the total case depth. This is called differential hardening. The case depth can be specified in two ways: total case depth or effective case depth. Rockwell scale required for various case depths Total case depth. 6000 series.org/wiki/Heat_treatment Examples of precipitation hardening alloys include 2000 series.76 mm). The Chinese jian is one of the earliest known examples of this. the free encyclopedia http://en.015 C A 45N 30N 15N "File hard" For cases that are less than 0.030 in (0.13 mm). Using Rockwell "C" for a thinner case will result in a false reading.38 mm) thick a Rockwell scale cannot reliably be used.Wikipedia. 3 of 4 10/11/2009 4:37 PM . as shown in the table below. If the part is to be ground after heat treatment.024 0. [in] Rockwell scale 0. min. this is checked on a Tukon microhardness tester. and 7000 series aluminium alloy. and the Japanese katana the most widely known. as well as some superalloys and some stainless steels. Case hardening Case hardening is specified by hardness and case depth. but the load used on the scale will penetrate through the case if the case is less than 0.wikipedia. The total case depth is the true depth of the case.015 Less than 0. The Nepalese Khukuri is another example.Heat treatment . The effective case depth is the depth of the case that has a hardness equivalent of HRC50.015 in (0. If neither type of case depth is specified the total case depth is assumed. For case hardened parts the specification should have a tolerance of at least ±0.018 0.005 in (0.021 0. however the chemical composition and hardenability can affect this approximation.030 0. Usually hardness is measured on the Rockwell "C" scale. the case depth is assumed to be after grinding. The Rockwell hardness scale used for the specification depends on the depth of the total case depth. It is common in high quality knives and swords. Selective hardening Some techniques allow different areas of a single object to receive different heat treatments. Specification Usually the the end condition is specified instead of the process used in heat treatment.
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