Heat treating metal is not as easy of a task as one might think—in fact, it’s highly dependent on a number of variables that can decisively change the outcome of the finished heat treated product. To this end, there are several specific forms of heat treatment in Gastonia, NC to consider for different specialized purposes—however each type of traditional heat treatment can only be achieved at the right temperature and through the right process, further complicating many people’s understanding of what exactly heat treatment is and how it’s properly achieved.
Three of the most common heat treatments when dealing with steels and cast irons are annealing, normalizing and quenching/tempering. These three methods of heat treatment are probably the closest things to what most people perceive to be the definition of heat treatment: a blacksmith heating up metal, banging it with a hammer and sticking it in a bucket of water for rapid cooling.
And, while this definition may be correct in its own simplified way, it encompasses the general idea—however thanks to modern science and technology, we’ve come to discover that certain properties can be attained when metals are heated to different temperatures. Take a look at how annealing, normalizing and quenching/tempering can all be achieved thanks to different temperature levels:
- Quenching and tempering occurs at the lowest heat level when it comes to heat treating in Gastonia, NC. A lower heat is required because the face of whatever object being treated is the only thing that needs to be treated, therefore the heat doesn’t need to reach a temperature that reacts with the core of the metal.
- Normalizing is positioned near the center of the scale when it comes to the heat required to change the composition of the steel being treated. Requiring more heat than quenching and tempering, but less heat than annealing, normalizing penetrates the surface of a heat treated object to treat the surface, as well as several millimeters below the surface, creating a denser layer of hardness.
- Annealing requires the highest levels of heat to successfully treat a metal because it must also affect change within the core of the object being treated. Not coincidently, annealing also takes less time to achieve and has a higher durability factor than other types of heat treatments, since the rapid heating of the metal affects tremendous change quickly.
As you can probably tell from the descriptions above, the ideal temperature for each type of heat treating in Gastonia, NC allows for different effects to take place in regards to the hardness of the metal being treated, as well as how deep the hardening process takes hold.
Depending on the final application of the object being treated, one type of heat treatment may be ideal over another, which is why heat plays such an important role in how metal is hardened.