Many industries require heat-treated metals for their manufacturing processes. The treatments involve heating metals to change their malleability, durability, strength, or magnetic properties. Buell Automatics offers heat treating services for your metal parts and components. Learn more about the types of heat treating we offer and how they can benefit your project.
Types of Heat Treating
We offer the following metal heat treating services to fulfill various manufacturing purposes.
To anneal metal, the component is heated to a specific temperature, held at that temperature for a given amount of time, and then air-cooled. Because annealing increases ductility and lowers hardness, the process is often performed prior to machining. Annealed metals are more stable and workable because they are less likely to crack. Specifically, annealing brass reduces the metal’s internal stresses, so it will be more likely to stretch when pressure is applied.
The first step of hardening is to heat the metal to the temperature where the structure of the metal breaks down and becomes a solution, thereby eliminating any structural defects. Once the metal has reached this stage, it is rapidly quenched to solidify the defect-free solution. The quick change from hot to cold increases the metal’s strength, making it more durable.
After quenching, the metal is left at room temperature to allow the particles to settle and strengthen further. This natural aging process takes four to five days, though most of the hardening occurs on the first day. Therefore, metals should be shaped quickly after the hardening process, while the metal is most pliable.
The homogenizing process redistributes elements more evenly throughout a metal component. This is necessary because certain parts cool faster than others, resulting in hard spots and soft spots throughout the metal. To homogenize it, the metal should be heated to a temperature just below its melting point and then be slowly cooled. The homogenized metal component should have a uniform internal structure and be more consistent to form.
The tempering process is most useful for iron-based alloys, which are hard but too brittle to machine. Tempering changes their hardness, strength, and ductility, depending on the desired properties of the metal. For example, heating the metal below its critical point will maintain its hardness while reducing brittleness. Heating the metal to higher temperatures will decrease hardness, but it will increase plasticity.
Metal Heat Treating Services from Buell Automatics
Buell Automatics has over 50 years of experience in the metal fabrication industry. Our custom heat treatments can help your precision parts and components perform optimally in any production process. We serve a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical, and communications.
If you require heat treatment services for your metal parts and components, request a quote today.