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The Benefits of Steel Heat Treatment

November 23rd, 2016

Steel parts often require some form of heat treatment to achieve an increase in hardness and obtain maximum strength and durability. Through the many different processes of heat treatment, the properties of steel are changed via physical and mechanical channels. Among many other benefits of heat treatment, it can also aid in the manufacturing process.  There are a variety of steel heat treatment processes including: case hardening, tempering steel, oil quenching, carburizing, vacuum heat treatments and more.

Benefits of steel heat treatmentWhen we talk about the change of mechanical properties, we’re referring to the shear strength, toughness and tensile strength of the steel. Allowing for this mechanical change in properties enables your product to be more efficient in its daily duties and more resistant to wear and tear during even its toughest jobs.

There are a number of different heat treatment options to choose from—and they all are dependent on the properties required for the steel’s end function. It’s essential to work with an established company that recognizes these differences to ensure that your product meets the specified requirements you have in mind for it.

Like we mentioned, the right heat treatment will alter both physical and mechanical properties of your material, and it aids in other important manufacturing steps as well. The result of a properly applied heat treat processes can relieve stresses, making the steel easier to machine or weld. Steel materials benefit greatly from the benefits of heat treatments in regards to manufacturing, particularly in processes such as hot forming or after welding, where stresses may have been built up over time.

Heat Treatment Does a Lot for Steel

Heat treatment doesn’t just make steel harder. It can actually make it softer too! The softening of steel allows for metal working operations such as deep drawing, cold forging and machining. Thus, steel also increases its strength, making the material ductile or more flexible, while also introducing wear-resistance characteristics, making the material tougher.

Case hardening is an example of this—a simple process of hardening the surface of metal while allowing the metal deeper underneath to remain soft, thus forming a thin layer of hard metal on the outside. Case hardening provides you with a part that will not fracture (because of the soft core that can absorb stresses without cracking) but also provides adequate wear-resistance on the surface of the part.

Gears, shafts, bearings and other crucial components benefit greatly from case hardening processes such as this when we talk about not only their wear-resistance, but their overall lifetime as well. Meaning that through these operations, fatigue-resistance is also increased which leaves steel components working more efficiently for a longer period of time.

Extremely hard steels are often used in applications as cutting tools where highly defined edges must be maintained—heat treatment of these steels is a critical operation to obtain the performance and job required of them. Hard surfaces with ductile base material may be developed by heat treatment as well. The possible applications and uses for heat treated steel seem to be endless.

If an increase in material strength and wear-resistance is required, then a heat treatment of some form must be given. This is the best way to achieve maximum usage and performance out of your material. Heat treating is a significant part of the steel industry and forms as a basic function of the industrial infrastructure.

Benefits of Heat Treatment in a Nutshell

We went through so many! Let’s break down all the benefits of heat treatment towards your steel parts and components.

  • More durable product.
  • Steel becomes tougher, stronger.
  • Easier to weld.
  • Becomes more flexible.
  • Increases its wear-resistance.
  • Increase in overall lifetime of the part.

Our heat treatment capabilities will leave a lasting effect on your precious material. There are a ton of benefits of heat treatment for your production line. Find out how Specialty Steel Treating, Inc. can get your steel to reach its maximum potential. We will analyze your manufacturing processes and choose one of our industry-leading services, one that best suits your specific needs. We understand how important your product is to your bottom-line, and we have the tools and techniques to provide you with nothing but the best results.

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Specialty Steel Treating Inc Reviews

Wayne Thomas
Wayne Thomas
17:55 19 Jun 17
Before I retired, I was the coordinator for our plant's aerospace, and precision heat treated product, and SST. I couldn't have asked for better quality, and service. I recommend them 100 percent.
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