Thermal Processing Of Metal


Metal alloys are used in almost everything. Whether you look at a building, a car, a computer or a television, you will find that metal alloys are universally used in all these products. Metal alloys are used in many different industries and for the majority of products, but these alloys go through a very long process in order to become the alloys that are so useful. The iron and other metals that are mined from the ground do not come out of the ground ready to be put into your computer. These metals have to go through metalworking. Here are some of the processes that metal will often go through to become useful.

Tempering

One of the most important processes in metalworking is a process called tempering. This is a relatively low temperature heat treatment that is performed after neutral hardening or double hardening. Tempering is used to reach a desired hardness to toughness ratio. When steel is at the max hardness, it loses some of the toughness. Toughness is the ability of the steel to withstand an applied load, while hardness is the ability to resist deformation. Tempering takes place in a furnace where a protective gas option is available. The gas will prevent the surface from oxidation during the tempering process. The tempering occurs as the metal is held at a specific temperature, usually 450-500 degrees Celsius for the best results.

Annealing

A process in which a metal is heated to a very high temperature, held there for a period of between several hours and several days, and then allowed to cool, is called annealing. The heat has to be so high that it is above the point where re-crystallization occurs. Then the metal has to cool extremely slowly. This process is used to increase the ductility of the metal and reduce the internal stresses that cause the metal to be brittle. Another very big benefit of the annealing process is that it increases the homogeneity of the metal.

Plating

Another very common metalworking process is called plating. Plating is used for many different reasons; it reduces corrosion, reduces friction, hardens metals, and can help in many other ways. There are also many different ways that plating can occur. Some of these methods include fusing metals together, or using electroplating. If you are looking to buy metal for a roof or even a fence, you may want to make sure that it has been plated to increase strength and corrosion resistance. Contact a company like Pacific Metallurgical Inc to learn more.

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