For most laypeople, heat treatment in Gastonia, NC for metal parts and components is a far-off concept that probably never crosses their minds. You may even be doing a questioning head tilt and eye shift this very moment! While we at J.F. Heat Treating Inc. live it everyday, what we do is often a mystery to people. Rather than trust less expert sources to provide inaccurate information, we thought a quick lesson in heat treatment might do the job.
But first, it’s important to understand that, to perform heat treatment processes, one must go through proper training, which includes studying and hands-on learning, as well as knowing how to use the right tools. Without further ado, here’s a quick and dirty version of our industry and why it should matter to you.
What exactly is heat treatment?
Heat treatment is the process of exposing metals, glass or other materials to heat to improve their physical properties. This probably makes enough sense on the face of it. Although metal and glass come across as hard and rigid materials, they are malleable when exposed to the right conditions. For something like a vehicle’s engine housing unit, heat treatment in Gastonia, NC helps to keep the metal from becoming misshapen when exposed to the high heat and pressure of daily operation. If these materials were left unchecked, they could become deformed and impact how the vehicle runs.
In other applications, like construction and large-scale building plans, metal treating can improve the physical strength of steel I-beams for use in skyscrapers. Without heat treating, this metal might be more susceptible to the massive amount of weight and strain put on it—and immense weight and strain coupled with human error or natural events could lead to building failure, even catastrophic structure collapse.
How does it work?
In heat treating, there is a number of different processes used to get the job done. Oftentimes, which process is applied to the metal depends on the physical requirements of the material. For example, a signal pole that needs to support a heavy stoplight fixture would need to endure not only the strain of its own weight but outside forces—like winds or reckless drivers—that might add stress to the equation. Generally speaking, a metal object is heated to a predetermined temperature that is based on the metal’s properties. It can then be quenched in water or oil to quickly harden the metal and add strength.
We hope that this explanation of heat treating and how it works gives you a better idea of the industry without having caused you any new confusion. Although it may seem like a lot to take in, our team at J.F. Heat Treating Inc. has made understanding the process of heat treatment in Gastonia, NC a collective life goal. If you have more in-depth questions about the work we are so proud to perform, or if you’d like to find out what we can do for you, give us a call today!