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2/1/2017 WhatisHeatTreatment?

Hardening,Tempering,Annealing,Normalizing,Carburization,SurfaceHardening

WhatIsHeatTreatment?
writtenby:johnsiniteditedby:LamarStonecypherupdated:1/8/2011

Engineeringpropertiesaremodifiedbyheattreatmentprocessessothatstructuralcomponentsareablewithstandspecifiedoperatingconditionsandhavedesired
usefullife.

Heattreatmentistheheatingandcoolingofmetalstochangetheirphysicalandmechanicalproperties,withoutlettingitchangeits
shape.Heattreatmentcouldbesaidtobeamethodforstrengtheningmaterialsbutcouldalsobeusedtoaltersomemechanical
propertiessuchasimprovingformability,machining,etc.Themostcommonapplicationismetallurgicalbutheattreatmentcanalsobe
usedinmanufactureofglass,aluminum,steelandmanymorematerials.Theprocessofheattreatmentinvolvestheuseofheatingor
cooling,usuallytoextremetemperaturestoachievethewantedresult.Itisveryimportantmanufacturingprocessesthatcannotonlyhelp
manufacturingprocessbutcanalsoimproveproduct,itsperformance,anditscharacteristicsinmanyways.

HeatTreatmentProcesses
Hardening

Hardeninginvolvesheatingofsteel,keepingitatanappropriatetemperatureuntilallpearliteistransformedintoaustenite,andthenquenchingitrapidlyinwateror
oil.Thetemperatureatwhichaustentizingrapidlytakesplacedependsuponthecarboncontentinthesteelused.Theheatingtimeshouldbeincreasedensuringthat
thecorewillalsobefullytransformedintoaustenite.Themicrostructureofahardenedsteelpartisferrite,martensite,orcementite.

Tempering

Temperinginvolvesheatingsteelthathasbeenquenchedandhardenedforanadequateperiodoftimesothatthemetalcanbeequilibrated.Thehardnessand
strengthobtaineddependuponthetemperatureatwhichtemperingiscarriedout.Highertemperatureswillresultintohighductility,butlowstrengthandhardness.
Lowtemperingtemperatureswillproducelowductility,buthighstrengthandhardness.Inpractice,appropriatetemperingtemperaturesareselectedthatwillproduce
thedesiredlevelofhardnessandstrength.Thisoperationisperformedonallcarbonsteelsthathavebeenhardened,inordertoreducetheirbrittleness,sothatthey
canbeusedeffectivelyindesiredapplications.

Annealing

Annealinginvolvestreatingsteeluptoahightemperature,andthencoolingitveryslowlytoroomtemperature,sothattheresultingmicrostructurewillpossesshigh
ductilityandtoughness,butlowhardness.Annealingisperformedbyheatingacomponenttotheappropriatetemperature,soakingitatthattemperature,andthen
shuttingoffthefurnacewhilethepieceisinit.Steelisannealedbeforebeingprocessedbycoldforming,toreducetherequirementsofloadandenergy,andtoenable
themetaltoundergolargestrainswithoutfailure.

Normalizing

Normalizinginvolvesheatingsteel,andthenkeepingitatthattemperatureforaperiodoftime,andthencoolingitinair.Theresultingmicrostructureisamixtureof
ferriteandcementitewhichhasahigherstrengthandhardness,butlowerductility.Normalizingisperformedonstructuresandstructuralcomponentsthatwillbe
subjectedtomachining,becauseitimprovesthemachinabilityofcarbonsteels.

Carburization

Itisaheattreatmentprocessinwhichsteelorironisheatedtoatemperature,belowthemeltingpoint,inthepresenceofaliquid,solid,
orgaseousmaterialwhichdecomposessoastoreleasecarbonwhenheatedtothetemperatureused.Theoutercaseorsurfacewill
havehighercarboncontentthantheprimarymaterial.Whenthesteelorironisrapidlycooledbyquenching,thehighercarboncontent
ontheoutersurfacebecomeshard,whilethecoreremainstoughandsoft.

SurfaceHardening

Inmanyengineeringapplications,itisnecessarytohavethesurfaceofthecomponenthardenoughtoresistwearanderosion,while
maintainingductilityandtoughness,towithstandimpactandshockloading.Thiscanbeachievedbylocalaustentitizingandquenching,
anddiffusionofhardeningelementslikecarbonornitrogenintothesurface.Processesinvolvedforthispurposeareknownasflame
hardening,inductionhardening,nitridingandcarbonitriding.

References
Answers.com:Carburizing

AbsoluteAstronomy:Carburization

ImageCredits:

JFESteelCorporation:DevelopmentofHITENUltraHighSteelPlatewithResistancetoDelayedFracture

JackKendrick:MeloniteSurfaceTreatmentforBarrels,Bolts,andActions

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2/1/2017 WhatisHeatTreatment?Hardening,Tempering,Annealing,Normalizing,Carburization,SurfaceHardening

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