Metal heat treating is the process of heating and cooling metals and alloys to alter their physical and mechanical properties without changing their shapes. The process increases the metal’s strength and formability, improving the performance of many different metals in all kinds of applications.
The applications and processes of metal heat treating have come a long way from the blacksmithing days of ancient times; technological advancements have made the processes of metallurgy safer and more efficient and now produce much better results than ever before.
However, most people would be surprised to hear that metal heat treating in Gastonia, NC happens in a cutting-edge lab filled with equipment. The expansion and development of heat treating is unknown to many. For this reason, we wanted to take a dive back in time to uncover the history behind heat treating and how it came to be what it is today!
The discovery of metals
You probably remember from your high school history classes that, in ancient times, civilizations underwent the popularly coined Copper, Bronze and Iron ages. During these periods, ancient peoples discovered copper, bronze and iron ores in the earth and used them to forge weaponry, jewelry and more through varying metallurgical treatments. Some of these processes included heat, in which they could heat the metals and both transform and harden them for use.
Initial heat treating processes
Then, steel was discovered, and so were the first recognized hardening processes. Around 1400 B.C., a common practice was to heat steel objects and then dip them in water to harden their surfaces. Tempering became a popular and well-experimented practice. From there, more and more steel was produced, and the advancements in metallurgy continued to progress.
The first foundries were set up in the United Kingdom around 1700 A.D. Over the next two hundred years, scientists and engineers continued to create, experiment and improve upon metal heat treating processes, helping to bolster the industrial revolutions and technological advancements of the late 19th century. Military needs also pushed this science, requiring stronger and more reliable metal pieces for guns and cannons.
Moving into the mid 20th century, advancements both in the home and throughout the country were due to heat-treated metals. Advancements allowed for improvements in railroad tracks and wheels, as well as more efficient refrigerators.
Metal heat treating in Gastonia, NC is important
The applications for heat-treated metal continue to increase with growth in industrial companies and industrial applications, as well as with consumer product manufacturing. Metal heat treating is much more integral to our daily lives than we might think, and its roots go back much further than we can even imagine.
Does your company require metal heat treating in Gastonia, NC? Contact J. F. Heat Treating Inc. to learn more about what we can do for you. For over 35 years, we’ve offered a variety of heat treating services to soften, harden, relieve stress or remove contaminants from your metal parts and components. Using cutting-edge tools and equipment in our full-service metallurgical lab, we’ll be sure to meet all of your metal heat treating needs. Call us today!