When you think of heat treatment, you probably don’t think a whole lot about cooling. After all, heat treatment and metallurgical processes generally have to do with getting metals extremely hot, not keeping other things cool. But the final results of heat treatment in Gastonia, NC can be quite important in other applications after the treatment is complete, including in the world of refrigeration.
Here’s some useful information about this subject from our metallurgy company.
Heat treatment has a place in refrigeration
People have been experimenting with various methods of refrigeration to keep foods and other types of items cold for thousands of years. The ancient Romans, for example, often experimented with evaporative cooling by the use of terra cotta pots in water that would be fanned by slaves. As the water evaporated, it would keep the food cool. Ancient Indians and Egyptians used a similar practice, attempting to keep their earthenware pots wet and putting them out on cold nights to make ice. Even up until the end of the 1800s, the icebox was still the primary means of refrigeration.
Refrigeration as we know it today began its development in the mid-1700s, when William Cullen at the University of Glasgow worked on Michael Faraday’s vapor compression refrigeration process. This work was picked up in the late 19th century by Carl von Linde, who is considered by many to be the father of modern refrigeration.
The first modern refrigerator was manufactured by General Electric and marketed by the Johns Manville Company, and sold for about $1,000 in 1911—twice the cost of an automobile at the time. The first refrigerator that saw really widespread usage was made in 1927 by General Electric, with more than a million units produced and sold, many of which are actually still functioning to this very day. The technology continued to evolve rapidly to the point we know it today.
This brings us to the processes used to create these refrigerators. Many of the components of modern refrigerators rely on thermal treatment to function properly. The lower door hinge is a great example. This hinge carries all of the weight of the refrigerator door, and is manufactured with the heat treating process. These hinges are typically made with 1050 carbon steel and have to be thoroughly hardened, quenched and tempered to be able to withstand the usage they receive over their lifespans.
Most people will never really pay any attention to those hinges, but this is a crucial part of the refrigerator that could not be produced without the heat treating process, and these hinges are produced in massive quantities at plants around the U.S. This is just one portion of refrigerators that are designed with the heat treating process, as well—many of the springs used in refrigerators, as well as the coils and condensers, are also made in part with the heat treating process.
For more information about how heat treating in Gastonia, NC is also important for cooling, contact J.F. Heat Treating Inc. today.