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Heat Treatment

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Heat Treatment

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Heat Treatment

  1. 1. Annealing  Makes a metal as soft as possible  Hypoeutectoid steels (less than 0.83% carbon) are heated above upper critical temp., soaked and cooled slowly.  Hypereutecoid (above 0.83%) are heated above lower critical temp., soaked and allowed to cool slowly.
  2. 2.  Process Annealing. Low carbon steels may harden through cold working. They can be heated to around 100 degrees below lower critical temp., soaked and allowed to cool in air.  Spheroidising. High carbon steels may be annealed just below the lower critical temp. to improve machinability.
  3. 3.  Normalising. Internal stresses caused by rolling and rolling or forging are removed. Steels are heated above upper critical temp., soaked and cooled in air. The cooling rate is faster than annealing giving a smaller grain structure.  Stress relieving. The component is reheated and held at temperature for a period of time and cooled slowly.
  4. 4. Hardening  Medium and High carbon steels (0.4 – 1.2%) can be heated until red hot and then quenched in water producing a very hard and brittle metal. At 723 degrees, the BCC ferrite changes into Austenite with a FCC structure.
  5. 5. Hardening 0.6% carbon steel  The metal is heated to over 780 degrees, which allows the carbon to dissolve into the FCC Austenite.  Quenching the metal quickly in water prevents the structure from changing back into BCC.  A different structure, Body Centre Tectragonal (BCT) is formed. It is called Martensite and is extremely hard and brittle with a needle-like microstructure.
  6. 6. Tempering  To remove some of the brittleness from hardened steels, tempering is used. The metal is heated to the range of 220-300 degrees and cooled.  Tempering colours are an indicator of temperature on polished metals. Colours range from yellow to brown to violet and blue.
  7. 7. Heat Treatments  A – Normalising  B – Annealing or Hardening  C – Spheroidising or Process Annealing  D - Tempering
  8. 8. Quenching media  Brine (water and salt solution)  Water  Oil  Air  Turn off furnace
  9. 9. Case hardening  Low carbon steels cannot be hardened by heating due to the small amounts of carbon present.  Case hardening seeks to give a hard outer skin over a softer core on the metal.  The addition of carbon to the outer skin is known as carburising.
  10. 10. Pack carburising  The component is packed surrounded by a carbon-rich compound and placed in the furnace at 900 degrees.  Over a period of time carbon will diffuse into the surface of the metal.  The longer left in the furnace, the greater the depth of hard carbon skin. Grain refining is necessary in order to prevent cracking.
  11. 11.  Salt bath carburising. A molten salt bath (sodium cyanide, sodium carbonate and sodium chloride) has the object immersed at 900 degrees for an hour giving a thin carbon case when quenched.  Gas carburising. The object is placed in a sealed furnace with carbon monoxide allowing for fine control of the process.  Nitriding. Nitrides are formed on a metal surface in a furnace with ammonia gas circulating at 500 degrees over a long period of time (100 hours). It is used for finished components.
  12. 12. Induction hardening  Induced eddy currents heat the surface of the steel very quickly and is quickly followed by jets of water to quench the component.  A hard outer layer is created with a soft core. The slideways on a lathe are induction hardened.
  13. 13. Flame hardening  Gas flames raise the temperature of the outer surface above the upper critical temp. The core will heat by conduction.  Water jets quench the component.
  14. 14. Age hardening  Hardening over a period of time  Also known as precipitation hardening  Occurs in duraluminium which is an aluminium alloy that contains 4% copper. This makes this alloy very useful as it is light yet reasonably hard and strong, it is used in the space industry.  The metal is heated and soaked (solution treatment) then cooled and left.
  15. 15. Pyrometry The measurement and control of temperature in a furnace is called pyrometry.
  16. 16. Seger cones  A traditional method of gauging furnace temperature.  Cones with known melting temperatures are placed in the furnace, temperature is identified as cones collapse.
  17. 17. Optical pyrometer  Also known as ‘disappearing filament’.  The light intensity of a lamp, which can be adjusted, is compared to the light from a furnace.  Temperature is measured when the filament seems to disappear in the glow from the furnace.
  18. 18. Thermo-electric pyrometer  A thermocouple uses the principle that a small current flows if two dissimilar metals are joined in a loop with different temperatures at the junctions.  A galvanometer at the cold junction detects a change in current at the hot junction in the furnace

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