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How It Works: Heat Treating

How It Works: Heat Treating

Heat treatment is an industrial process involving exposing metals to high temperatures in order to change the properties of the material. While heat treating equipment is used for many purposes, its most common application is metallurgical. The process is also used in manufacturing many other materials like glass where the material is softened or hardened. There are various heat treatment methods, including annealing, tempering, quenching, carburizing, case hardening, and precipitation strengthening.

For heat treating to work properly, it requires precise control over temperature.

This includes the exact time held at a given temperature and control over an accurate cooling rate as well. Most heat treatments start by heating a certain alloy beyond a specific temperature – this is referred to as an “arrest”. During arrest, the metal alloy or any material that is being treated experiences a point wherein all of the heat energy is used up to cause crystal change. At this point, the temperature stops from rising for a short period time until the change is complete. Heat treating equipment has to be used to help heat the metal alloy above a certain critical temperature in order for the desired transformation or modification to occur. 

In fact, metals are often heated at temperatures beyond the upper critical temperature in order to preserve smaller grain size within the metals. This is to help enhance the qualities of the metal and give it more toughness and strength. Larger grains will always have larger boundaries, weakening the structural integrity of the metal and making it more prone to breakage.

Indeed, heat treatment is an extremely precise process that also requires the use of high quality heat treating equipment and expert technicians in order to yield the best results. East Manufacturing prides ourselves on supplying the best heat treating equipment, guaranteeing the quality and stability of your products. Get in touch with us today!