What Are the Stages of Heat Treating?

Around the world, countless industries rely on metal that has been shaped and forged through heat treatment. This time-tested method of forming metal is used for several purposes. Proper heat treatment isn’t an in-and-out process, though. Several steps are required to turn an ordinary piece of metal into a properly forged component.

Here are the three primary stages of heat treatment in Gastonia, NC.

Heating it up

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first stage of heat treatment involved heating the piece of metal you’ll be working with. The speed of the heating process depends on the type of metal. Certain metals are more susceptible to warping, for example, and therefore need to be heated at a slower temperature than others.

In addition to the type of metal you’re heating, the size and desired shape of the final product will also factor into the temperature you can use, and the time the project will take to complete.


The name of the soaking stage can be somewhat misleading. Rather than soaking the treated metal piece in water or some other liquid substance, the metal part is “soaked” in heat. This continued bombardment of your metal piece eventually results in an internal chemical change that forever alters the component’s structure.


Since it’s impossible to use a piece that’s heated to upward of 1,500 degrees, the final step in the heat treatment process is cooling. At this point, the component is thrust into one of a variety of different cooling mediums so it can be returned to room temperature. The type of cooling medium—liquid, solid or gas—will be determined, again, by the type and size of the metal part you’re working with.

The finesse of a pro

The above explanation is an overview of just the basic heat treatment stages in Gastonia, NC. When it comes to transforming a piece of metal into the perfect piece for your needs, however, there is much more complexity involved. Depending on the metal you’re working with, the shape you desire and the environment in which the part will be put to use, the stages of heat treatment will require slight adjustments to the overall process.

Knowing how and when to make these adjustments is the reason you should only entrust your heat treatment to seasoned professionals.

The team you can count on

When it comes to the stages of heat treatment in Gastonia, NC, there’s only one that really matters, and that’s the first stage: the stage when you choose J.F. Heat Treating Inc. We have more than 40 years of experience helping clients from every industry get the perfect heat treatment for their needs.

We do it all—annealing, hardening, aging, quenching, tempering and more. One call to us and we will set about customizing the perfect plan for you. It doesn’t matter what your needs may be, what metal you’re working with or how big (or small) the job is—we can handle it. That’s our promise to you. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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