The process of heating and hardening metal parts is intense, and oftentimes the physical and mechanical properties are altered during this process. Depending on the material, this could leave certain areas of the metal susceptible to stress that could weaken the effectiveness of a part or component. This makes metal normalizing in Gastonia, NC a very important step in the heat treating process, and in a lot of cases the most cost-effective option, as well.
What is normalizing?
Normalizing is a process of grain reorganization that spreads the grain structure and other chemical properties out evenly through a piece of steel or metal. By warming steel or metal to a temperature of between 1490 and 1706 degrees Fahrenheit, the normalization process encourages the movement of the atomic structures within the metal, leading to a balanced dispersal of the mechanical properties of the treated part. This means that a piece that has been normalized will be strengthened in its entirety, eliminating any potential areas of weakness.
Once the piece has been heated to the required temperature throughout, the casting is held at that temperature to allow the grain modification to take place and set. The amount of time an item has to be held at this temperature will depend on the weight and thickness of the part, with larger pieces needing to be held longer. The final step of normalization is the cooling process, which takes place in still, room temperature air. Because these parts will cool quicker at room temperature, the overall time of the heat treat process is reduced, allowing for a quicker turnaround of parts.
Why is it so important?
The heat treating process can potentially affect some of the specifications and properties of the metal, which could hinder the finished part’s ability to be effective. The normalization process does as its name states and normalizes the part before use by promoting the uniform distribution of the mechanical properties. This ultimately creates a stronger and more durable part that will be harder after the cooling period is completed.
This additional strength and stability is what makes the normalization process so valuable. The result of the entire process is a reinforced and balanced piece with improved machinability that reduces the effects of any stress that may occur when the part is in use. Normalization is particularly useful with metals that have non-traditional shapes. Parts that are uniquely shaped or intricate in design are more prone to structural problems once they cool, but putting them through this normalization process increases their reliability.
Having parts that are reliable, durable and ductile is critical in the manufacturing industry, and J. F. Heat Treating Inc. offers an extensive list of services that can propel your business to the front of the pack. Featuring hardening, softening, annealing and carburizing processes for all of your metal parts, our family owned and operated company will get the job done for you, so make sure you give us a call today to inquire about how normalizing in Gastonia, NC can elevate the quality of your parts.