Some people go into a specific field of study to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to achieve a lifelong goal, while others go into business for themselves to be able to provide specialty services for others. Many of these professions are typically made up of creative types who are ready to do hands-on work. And if your interests lie in the metallurgy industry, then we can relate!
Here are some little-known facts about our industry, and reasons why our entire team at J.F. Heat Treating Inc. loves metallurgy in Gastonia, NC.
The short definition of metallurgy is that it’s the study of metals and metal alloys. A metal alloy is described as a mixture of metals or a mixture of a type of metal with another element. But here’s the definition you are likely to hear from professionals within the industry: Metallurgy is a branch of science that concerns itself with the behavior and properties of different metals and their production and extraction in pure form.
In fact, people were curious about metallurgy long, long ago:
- In ancient times, most all known information about metallurgy came from folklore and village stories, as well as trail and error documented by individuals curious about the subject of metals.
- It was sometime in the late Paleolithic period that the first known use of metals by humans took place. Some of the first metals to ever be collected and used in ancient times included silver, gold, copper and tin.
- The Bronze Age, around 3500 B.C., is when a metal alloy—copper mixed with tin—was created. This produced a very strong metal: bronze.
- New techniques led to the discovery of how to extract iron from its ore—hence, the start of the Iron Age, around 1200 B.C.
It’s no stretch to say that our modern world depends a lot on metals and metallurgists. It’s right to assume that modern society has learned a lot from those who’d dabbled in ancient metallurgy. However, today, professional metallurgists are better able to do what they do best thanks to science and modern day society’s dependence on metal procurement and proper metal product fabrication to create strong objects.
Not only are metallurgists trained to strengthen metal parts through a heat treatment process and hardness testing, they also work hard and conduct analyses to find out why a metal part failed.
Metallurgy plays a huge role in many industries and applications:
- Some of the top industries that rely on metal and metalworkers include automobile manufacturers, aerospace, construction, welding, machine shops, jewelry businesses and engineers in various industries.
- Massive amounts of certain metals—including steel, aluminum and copper—are used regularly to build skyscrapers, bridges, automobiles, ships, airplanes and a variety of consumer products.
- Interestingly enough, metallurgy is also a service sought out by landscaping businesses (for yardwork tool parts and repairs), electronics manufacturers (to put together products like clocks, computers, televisions and speakers) and medical equipment companies (which take advantage of many heat treated parts).
Never again will you wonder why we continue doing what we do here at J.F. Heat Treating Inc.! Contact us today to learn more about metallurgy in Gastonia, NC, or to inquire about metal treating or our specialty metallurgical services.