Heat treatment is a complex process used to give steel and metals specific mechanical, chemical or physical characteristics by altering their structure. All types of heat treatment consist of three stages: heating, curing and cooling. During these stages, solid alloys undergo change. The different types of heat treatment vary in temperature and the time taken by subsequent processes. These two factors determine the properties the treated material will have. Heat treatment of metals is mainly hardening, tempering and annealing. With its modern furnaces and its own heat-treatment plant, Sacher offers all these services as well as a number of more complex heat-treatment techniques. What is heat treatment used for? The process of heat treatment of metals is used in a very large number of industries. Machinery, steel, manufacturing and welding industries benefit widely from hardening, annealing and metal hardening. Heat treatment may be applied to raw materials, intermediate products and finished parts.
The process of heat treatment of metals is used in a very large number of industries. Machinery, steel, manufacturing and welding industries benefit widely from hardening, annealing and metal hardening. Heat treatment may be applied to raw materials, intermediate products and finished parts.
The key benefit of heat treatment is the physical and chemical reinforcement of metals and their alloys. Thanks to certain operations or processes, the metal structure changes, allowing new, desirable mechanical properties of raw materials or products to be obtained. Many non-heat-treated colored metals would not be ready for use in certain conditions and industries because they would simply be too weak.
Changes in parameters which are caused by heat treatment of metals include i.a. an increase in shear strength and tensile strength. Heat-treated metals become stronger, which increases the durability of the constructions and equipment built using them. This helps reduce the frequent need to replace expensive metal parts and components.
Another benefit of heat treatment is the ability to obtain hard surfaces from high ductility materials such as aluminum. This results in a much higher productivity and resistance in the toughest conditions.
To sum up, the key advantages that make heat treatment of steel and many other metals so popular are:
– increasing the strength of ductile materials,
– changing in the magnetic and electrical properties of metals,
– ensuring adequate operational resistance,
– easing strains and reducing brittleness.
The key process that heat treatment of metals causes is an increase in the temperature of the workpiece material. This changes the dimensions of the product, increasing its length, width, and volume. The scope of these changes depends on i.a. material properties and thermal conditions. A suitable range of heat treatment of steel and other raw materials will strengthen them, but at certain temperatures it may weaken the raw material’s parameters in many ways.
The strength limit temperature depends on the type of steel being machined. For example, thermally treated carbon steel loses its strength at about 75 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the material’s toughness decreases and it becomes more brittle.
Technological developments allow heat treatment to be applied to numerous metals and alloys. Apart from steel, it is commonly used with i.a. duraluminum, copper alloys, magnesium, nickel, aluminum, nickel, titanium, brass and many other materials.
Although heat treatment of stainless steels, cast iron and many other grades of tool steel and ferrous metals represents around 4/5 of the materials which undergo heat treatment, colored metals and their alloys can also be processed in this way. An excellent example is the heat treatment of aluminum, which can be annealed, supersaturated and aged naturally or artificially.
It is recommended to perform a metallographic study of the raw material before starting thermal processing. It gives a precise specification of the physical and chemical properties of the metal, such as its chemical heterogeneity, grain size, decomposition and size of the alloy carbide, as well as surface decarburization. These factors, combined with the reaction to hardening, significantly affect the heat treatment effect and the resulting strength and longevity of the final product.
Further heat treatment after carburization includes activities such as heat treatment to core temperature or surface specific temperature and low tempering. It is worth knowing that the lack of further heat treatment of metals after carburization is considered to be a technological error and may end up in failure to achieve the required strength and material stability.
Heat treatment after welding is also possible and includes above all else the annealing of welded joints. In this case, the primary purpose of the procedures is to stabilize the connections, so it is preferable to use diffusion and stress relief annealing.
To request heat treatment, simply contact our office and ask for our current offer. We are open to long-term partnerships, but we are equally professional when dealing with single orders and short-run realizations. Our state-of-the-art machinery park and highly skilled staff ensure a comprehensive, professional approach to the heat treatment of any metal.
Washing and degreasing are very important before any heat and chemical treatment or soldering. The Clean-TEC technology used by Sacher ensures a high standard of surface preparation before the requested processes take place. The chemicals used are neutral to the environment and people. The washing temperature is 40°C.