Heat Treating: How Does it Work and What’s the Purpose?

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Do you want to make the surface of a metal component harder or increase its temperature resistance? If so, one of the best ways to do it is through the process of heat treating.

Heat treating is a process that allows you to change the physical and, in some cases, chemical properties of a metal so that it does whatever it is that you want it to do more effectively. Obviously, it’s impossible to bend most metals or make metals harder simply by using basic tools, so heat treating allows you to alter the state and features of different metals quickly and efficiently.

There are actually a handful of processes that can be used during heat treating, depending on what you want to do to a metal. As Britannica notes, one of the most common is called annealing, which involves heating a metal up to a red heat and manipulating it to the desired shape before allowing it to slowly cool over a long period of time. In this process, the internal composition of the metal changes, allowing it to take on new characteristics. The alternative is known as tempering, which involves slowly raising the heat of a metal in an oil bath and holding it there for a long period of time. After cooling, the metal is less brittle and less susceptible to breaks and cracking.

When heat treating metal, you really need to know exactly what you are doing since it often involves heating metals up specific temperatures or taking careful steps during the cooling process to achieve the best results. That’s why you should turn to the experienced team at Lowrance Machine Shop for your heat treating needs. We’ve been in business for more than 50 years and can help you with heat treating as well as a range of other machining and manufacturing needs. Give us a call at 281-449-6524 today to learn more about how heat treating can benefit you and your business.

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