In the world of heat treatments and metallurgy, there are some very important, very specific elements that are used to achieve the desired results of a project. By incorporating these elements into various facets of metal heat treating in Gastonia, NC, a metallurgist is able to create outcomes that are most beneficial for the metal being treated, as well as for the application that it will come to represent. Take a look at seven of these elements and why they’re so very important in the world of metallurgy:
- Carbon: This is not only the most important element in metallurgy—it’s the most important elements in the universe; carbon is the basis for all life! In terms of metallurgical services, however, carbon is utilized to give steel its strength, which is of the utmost importance when preparing metals for final applications.
- Manganese: If you’re going to be welding steel, you’re most likely going to be treating that steel with manganese to improve its weldability. Aside from simply making steel more receptive to the welding process, this element also helps to pave the way for dramatic increases in strength, shock resistance, toughness and hardenability.
- Chromium: We all know that one of the major downfalls of iron is its susceptibility to rust—but, with chromium added as part of the metallurgical process, we get stainless steel, which is protected against rusting! Aside from creating a rust barrier, chromium increases hardenability and strength in low alloy steels.
- Nickel: As a way to increase resistance against corrosion and heat weakness, nickel is added to stainless steel to great effect. Nickel is heavily relied on to help create alloys that will be utilized in extremely stressful environments.
- Molybdenum: This is perhaps the most intriguing element that’s utilized in metallurgy and not just because of its name! Molybdenum is added to alloys to prevent softening and expansion during the heat treatment process and is utilized to increase weldability and overall endurance.
- Phosphorous: Usually utilized in conjunction with sulfur, phosphorous is utilized to improve the machinability of a metal once it has been tempered. Metals treated with phosphorous also generally polish well, however they can sometimes suffer from reduced toughness and generally suffer from cold temperatures.
- Sulfur: Again, used in conjunction with phosphorous, sulfur is generally utilized to improve the processing and cutting prospects of a metal. Higher additions of sulfur are generally added to improve the finish of a metal and this element isn’t usually utilized in instances where hardness and strength are required for a final application.
There are a vast variety of chemicals and elements utilized in metal heat treating in Gastonia, NC, but few are as important as the seven elements listed above! And while some may be more important than others or utilized more often, every element has its own role in transforming metals to meet a certain quality or specification, so that it can be utilized to its fullest extent when applied in the world.