Whether you are a homeowner looking for shaped steel products for your home or a business owner in need of metal parts and machines, you will want to turn your attention to professional metallurgical services. This service will ensure that your new metal products will hold strong and do what they are supposed to. One such process in metal work is annealing in Gastonia, NC.
What is annealing?
Annealing is a heat treatment process that alters the properties of metals to reduce hardness so the material can be more easily workable. The metal is shaped to a desired form, and then, once the metal is heated to a certain temperature, it is allowed to cool down slowly.
Why is annealing used?
Metal is known for its strength and durability, but it doesn’t always start out as strong as it can be. Many times, metal goes through a process called annealing to give it its final properties. To reiterate, annealing refers to the process of applying heat past its critical temperature and allowing it to cool down normally, without the use of an external quenching source. When done properly, the metal product will have improved strength and qualities that allow for greater durability and longevity.
Here’s a brief overview of the various types of annealing in Gastonia, NC:
- Stress relief:In large cast metal pieces, stress annealing targets stresses brought on by uneven cooling in the metal. Stress annealing is the process of heating the metal for several hours before allowing it to cool. If done properly, the metal should retain structural integrity and will not be vulnerable to brittleness.
- Process:Typically used on a cold-rolled or wiredrawn steel, process annealing involves heating a low carbon steel to just under its critical temperature and allowing it to cool slowly. Unlike other types of annealing, process annealing does not involve forcing the metal to cool at a faster rate through quenching, etc.
- Isothermal: Isothermal annealing relies on a similar process to the other types of annealing, but includes a forced cooling step. Rather than allowing the metal to cool down slowly, isothermal annealing is used to treat low carbon and alloy steels and improve their overall machinability.
- Full:When it comes to items like forgings or casting made from higher carbon steel, full annealing is necessary to ensure strength and structural integrity. The metal is heated for a set time before being allowed to cool in the furnace at a natural rate. This improves the metal’s workability and internal structure.
- Spheroidize: This type of annealing can involve a couple different processes. In one method, the metal is heated for eight hours before being allowed to cool slowly. In the other, heating and cooling are alternated to just above or below the metal’s critical temperature. This improves the steel’s structure and workability.
J.F. Heat Treating Inc. offers a variety of metalworking services and can help you with several types of heat treatment processes. Contact our skilled team today for more information about annealing in Gastonia, NC and the equipment we use in our shop!