Metallurgy Terminology for Beginners

Metalworking is an ancient and time-honored tradition. For centuries, metallurgists have been forging tools and weapons. Images of the burly village blacksmith, pounding away at the anvil, come to mind when we think of the first metallurgists. In the 21st century, however, metallurgy is extremely high tech and computerized. Complex software programs guide robotic arms in the forging of the latest metals and tools.

No matter how far the field advances, human metallurgical professionals will always be needed to guide the process. The team at J. F. Heat Treating Inc., your experts in metallurgy in Gastonia, NC, is here to help improve your understanding by providing some basic metallurgy terminology:

  • Alloy: An alloy is a substance that has metallic properties and is composed of two or more chemical elements. Mixing chemical elements with metallic properties can help create a strong and malleable substance. Several examples of alloys are aluminum, bronze and titanium.
  • Conduction: Conduction is the transition of heat and sound by the transferring of energy from one particle to another. This is the method by which heat is transferred to metal to make it malleable.
  • Density: Density is the mass per unit volume of the metal. It is typically expressed in grams per cubic centimeter.
  • Die: A die is a metal block used in forming materials. When the term “die cast” is used, this means that the liquid metal was poured into a mold (the die), then held for stamping or threading. The metal is rapidly water-cooled.
  • Fabrication: Fabrication is the joining, typically by welding, of two or more parts to produce the finished product.
  • Hardness: Hardness is the resistance of a metal to indentation. It can also refer to the resistance to cutting, abrasion or scratching. Methods of measuring the resistance of a material to indentation can be determined by the Brinell, Rockwell and Vickers tests.
  • Ingot: An ingot is a chunk of metal cast to a smaller size and shape for re-melting or reworking.
  • Ladle: A ladle is an all-important metal tool lined with refractories used for the transportation as well as the pouring of molten metal. A ladle is often dipped into the furnace and transfers the molten metal into the molds. Several types of ladles can be used, including crane, bottom-pour, holding, teapot, hand bull, shank and lip-pour.
  • Metallurgy: Metallurgy is the science and technology of metals. Specifically, it is the study of the internal structures and properties of metals and the effects of various processing methods on them.
  • Mohs scale: The Mohs scale is a test used to determine scratch hardness. It uses 10 standard minerals ranging from the weakest talc to the strongest diamond.
  • Pouring: Pouring is the transfer of molten metal from the furnace to the ladle or the ladle into the molds.
  • Temper: To temper a metal means to reheat hardened metal or mechanically worked metal to soften it in order to rework the metal and improve impact strength.
  • Welding: Welding is the process used to join two or more metals together by the application of heat. A type of welding called fusion welding combines gas, arc and resistance welding and requires all parent metals to be melted, but is incredibly effective.

The metal heat treating professionals in Gastonia, NC can be found hard at work at J. F. Heat Treating Inc. In addition to being family owned and operated with over 35 years of experience, we employ the latest in 21st century technology in the heating and cooling of metals to create the perfect product shape. For metallurgy in Gastonia, NC, work with the very best. Give us a call today to see how we can serve you.

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