Is the heat treatment of metals necessary

Heat treatment is the German term for pasteurizing food, e.g. milk.

Heat treatment In metal processing, describes processes for adjusting the technological properties of materials at elevated temperatures. They are characterized by the fact that they always take place in a temperature range in which the item to be heat treated is in a solid state.

This can be for steels, for example

or the combination of several processes, e.g.

But also other metals and their alloys as well as plastics are heat-treated for the targeted adjustment of their properties. Heat treatments on ceramics are usually only carried out as part of the manufacturing process (during sintering).

The material to be treated passes through different temperatures at different times (temperature-time curve) and is then cooled at different speeds in different media, depending on the material and process. The range extends from furnace cooling to abrupt quenching in order to set certain technological properties (strength, hardness, toughness, structure, etc.).

In addition, chemical influences, mechanical or other stresses can have a targeted effect. The respective process is carried out in suitable heat treatment facilities.

All kinds of materials can be heat-treated specifically to increase strength, e.g. certain alloys of aluminum and titanium (hardening) and copper. In all cases, this involves solution heat treatment with quenching and subsequent precipitation hardening. All metallic materials can be annealed (if desired or necessary for further processing). Sometimes this is even absolutely necessary as an intermediate step in cold forming.

Careful heat treatment is of crucial importance for the profitability of a tool or component. For example, a high-alloy tool steel, if it has been incorrectly heat-treated, can have poorer technological properties than a low-alloy steel that has been correctly heat-treated. A high-quality, correctly heat-treated tool steel, on the other hand, will always have better properties for the respective application.

See also

Category: Change fabric properties