Steel is a material for a vast range of consumer products and scientific wonders. From safety pins to satellites, it is a building block for modernity and the basis for many consumer and commercial products. However, many of its applications are impossible without retaining heat treating services in Gastonia, NC. Here is how the heat treating process helps maximize the qualities of steel.
Steel does not change shape without heat. Impacts and other types of manipulation may leave dents or marks, but steel will preserve its shape.
However, the same chemical composition that allows it to withstand abuse also tolerates it to become its end product. Even before it becomes a knife, car parts or lug nuts in machinery, steel must endure heating, twisting and bending. Part of its ability to stand up to this is why it is featured as a material for so many items. Once it cools, it will maintain the shape it was manipulated into during heat treating in Gastonia, NC.
Even if it is manufactured in the best plant in the country, different pieces of steel will have their idiosyncrasies. They can miss elements or be contaminated with them. Either way, that can affect steel’s strength and purity.
Heat treating can add missing elements that can improve steel’s naturally strong qualities. Likewise, it can also remove contaminants that can compromise the quality of the end product. The process involves first conducting a lab test to check quality. From there, a heat treating process will be designed to counter those imperfections.
Securing specific qualities
There are end products that demand specific qualities in their steel. In the case of knives, for example, the steel needs to be hard enough to keep a sharp edge but soft enough to stand up to force without breaking. It also needs to be re-edged when needed, and sharpening knives normally does not involve heat.
There is no steel in the world that contains this exact balance between hard and soft. Heat treating in a specific process produces the knife steel needed to reach this balance. Otherwise, the knife will either break or never hold its edge.
What heat treating involves
No matter the desired end for the steel, heat treating involves the same process. First, steel is heated to a specific temperature, which is determined by what the steel needs. Once heated, the temperature is maintained for a particular amount of time, which again depends on what is supposed to be accomplished. After that, steel is cooled at a rate that is expected to bring about the desired results. Basically, heat treating is a process of heating, maintaining and cooling for the purpose of bringing about the desired effects.
Heat treating is a necessary service for anyone who manufactures, works or builds in steel. It can improve machinery, provide needed material or test the strength of a particular steel piece. If you are looking to improve steel objects through heat treating in Gastonia, NC, contact J.F. Heat Treating, Inc.