Have you ever considered what goes into making tool steels? You might be surprised to find out that steel for tools actually goes through a distinct process to make it especially strong. There is a reason why nowadays tools are some of the only things that are truly built to last. Lots of exciting methods are used to prepare metal for tool construction; one of the most common is heat treatment in Gastonia, NC. Read ahead to learn more about the unique processes that go into tool construction.
What makes a good tool?
Tool steels are often composed of a variety of carbon and alloy steels. These especially strong metals, in the right combination, produce steels well-suited to be made into tools. The main criteria for determining proper steels are hardness and resistance to abrasion. Other factors include overall cost, specific standards like compression strength and shock resistance. Regardless of whether the steel will end up in tools for cutting, extruding, coining or hammering, these are the basic factors that manufacturers consider.
Once the right combination of carbon and alloy steels is achieved and those various important factors are considered, the next step is to determine the process. There is more to heat treatment in Gastonia, NC than simply blasting steel with fire. In fact, there are six overall categories of methods to choose from. These include water hardening, cold-working, shock resisting, high-speed, hot-working and special purposes.
The basic differences include proper heat levels and types of cooling methods, along with a few trade secrets in between. Not carrying out the procedures correctly can result in cracked steel or compromised strength. In other words, experience doing heat treatment in Gastonia, NC is critical for quality tools.
To further increase quality, surface coatings also must be considered. Surface treatments prolong tool life by reducing wear resistance and contributing to surface hardness. Just like heat treating, there are many options to choose from. Often the coatings involve additional chemicals or steels and are also applied using meticulous precision. Overall the coating is determined once again by specific standards for hardness and expected types of usage. The surface treatment is not just for show; in fact, it comprises a critical aspect of the tool’s overall strength.
In sum, creating the right steel for various machine operations requires considerable knowledge of tool steels so as to ensure that the right tool for a specific application is being constructed. Failure to do so can result in premature wear, inadequate hardness or reduced strength. Creating a well-functioning tool requires the right combination of steels to properly balance strength and durability along with wear and cost considerations. After choosing the right steel combination, the proper heating method must be carried out to make the most of the products used. Incorrect heat treatment can damage the steel or reduce the overall strength of the tool steel, resulting in a much shorter lifespan for the item. Finally, the right surface treatment finishes the job and lets you get on your way with properly manufactured tool steel.