Heat Treatment Annealing

Heat Treatment Annealing


Heat treatment is a group of industrial and metalworking process used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material. The most common application is metallurgical.

Heat treatment involves the use of heating or chilling, normally to extreme temperatures, to achieve a desired result such as hardening or softening of a material.

Heat treatment techniques include annealing, case hardening, precipitation strengthening, tempering, normalizing and quenching.

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Annealing Heat Treatment process.

Annealing is a rather generalized term. Annealing consists of heating a metal to a specific temperature and then cooling at a rate that will produce a refined microstructure, either fully or partially separating the constituents. The rate of cooling is generally slow. Annealing is most often used to soften a metal for cold working, to improve machinability, or to enhance properties like electrical conductivity.

In ferrous alloys, annealing is usually accomplished by heating the metal beyond the upper critical temperature and then cooling very slowly, resulting in the formation of pearlite. In both pure metals and many alloys that can not be heat treated, annealing is used to remove the hardness caused by cold working. The metal is heated to a temperature where recrystallization can occur, thereby repairing the defects caused by plastic deformation. In these metals, the rate of cooling will usually have little effect. Most non-ferrous alloys that are heat-treatable are also annealed to relieve the hardness of cold working. These may be slowly cooled to allow full precipitation of the constituents and produce a refined microstructure.

Ferrous alloys are usually either “full annealed” or “process annealed.” Full annealing requires very slow cooling rates, in order to form coarse pearlite. In process annealing, the cooling rate may be faster; up to, and including normalizing. The main goal of process annealing is to produce a uniform microstructure. Non-ferrous alloys are often subjected to a variety of annealing techniques, including “recrystallization annealing,” “partial annealing,” “full annealing,” and “final annealing.” Not all annealing techniques involve recrystallization, such as stress relieving

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