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The term annealing refers to a heat treatment in which a material is exposed to an

elevated temperature for an extended time period and then slowly cooled.
Ordinarily, annealing is carried out to (1) relieve stresses; (2) increase softness,
ductility, and toughness; and/or (3) produce a specific microstructure. A variety of
annealing heat treatments are possible; they are characterized by the changes that
are induced, which many times are microstructural and are responsible for the
alteration of the mechanical properties.
Any annealing process consists of three stages: (1) heating to the desired
temperature, (2) holding or soaking at that temperature, and (3) cooling, usually
to room temperature. Time is an important parameter in these procedures. During
heating and cooling, temperature gradients exist between the outside and interior
portions of the piece; their magnitudes depend on the size and geometry of the
piece. If the rate of temperature change is too great, temperature gradients and
internal stresses may be induced that may lead to warping or even cracking. Also,
the actual annealing time must be long enough to allow for any necessary
transformation reactions. Annealing temperature is also an important consideration;
annealing may be accelerated by increasing the temperature, because diffusional
processes are normally involved. (callister 8th)

Spheroidize Annealing. Castings with hardnesses above 190 HB may be softened

by heating to 980 to 1040 C (1800 to 1900 F) for to 5 h except those alloys

containing 4% or more chromium. Excessive carbides cause this high hardness and
may occur in rapidly cooled castings and thin sections. Annealing dissolves or
spheroidizes carbides. Although it lowers hardness, spheroidize annealing does not
adversely affect strength.(ASM v4)

If Ni-Resist castings of the correct composition are higher in hardness than
expected, excessive carbide formation has probably occurred. Some softening and
improved machinability can be achieved through high-temperature annealing. This
heat treatment will breakdown and/or spheroidize some of the carbides. To anneal,
castings should be heated to 950-1025C (1740-1875F) at 50-100C (90-180F) per
hour. They should be held in this temperature range for 2 hours per 25mm (1 inch)
of section thickness followed by cooling in the furnace or in still air. (ni institute)
Annealing, which softens and improves ductility primarily by the decomposition and
spheroidization of carbides, should be conducted at 1750-1900oF (960-1035oC) for
1 to 5 hours, depending on section size and the degree of decomposition and
spheroidization desired. Annealing should be followed by air cooling or furnace
cooling if minimum hardness and maximum elongation are required. (Metal
international institute)
Annealing of high cr cast iron
Castings can be annealed to make them more machinable, either by subcritical
annealing or a full anneal. Subcritical annealing is accomplished by pearlitizing, via
soaking in the narrow range between 690 and 705 C (1280 and 1300 F) for from 4
to 12 h, which will produce hardness in the range 400 to 450 HB. Lower hardness
can often be achieved with full annealing, whereby castings are heated in the range
955 to 1010 C (1750 to 1850 F) followed by slow cooling to 760 C (1400 F) and
holding at this temperature for 10 to 50 h depending on composition. Annealing
does not affect the primary carbides nor the potential for subsequent hardening;

guidelines for hardening as-cast castings also apply to annealed castings. (ASM vol
ANNEALING is a generic term denoting a treatment that consists of heating to and
holding at a suitable temperature followed by cooling at an appropriate rate,
primarily for the softening of metallic materials. Generally, in plain carbon steels,
annealing produces a ferrite-pearlite microstructure (Fig. 1). Steels may be annealed
to facilitate cold working or machining, to improve mechanical or electrical
properties, or to promote dimensional stability. The choice of an annealing
treatment that will provide an adequate combination of such properties at minimum
expense often involves a compromise. Terms used to denote specific types of
annealing applied to steels are descriptive of the method used, the equipment used,
or the condition of the material after treatment. (ASM vol 4)