American Hydroformers Discusses the Heat Treating Process
We have a lot of experience working with metal here at American Hydroformers, and a ton of experience in shaping the use of our products by clients. We also do out fair share of processing work. That is, how materials are turned into the end-product.
One such process that doesn’t get much exposure is how metals are heat treated. Every metal from stainless to aluminum, to even some exotic metals are heat treated to increase their strength and improve durability.
Industries that Use Heat Treating
Heat treating is used by a wide variety of markets.
– Auto manufacturers
– Lighting solution companies
– Cookware manufacturers
– The Defense Department
– Medical and surgical instruments
– Heavy and industrial equipment
Two Types of Heat Treating
The heat treating process is broken into two distinct categories:
Vacuum Heat Treating: Ideal for ferrous metals, like steel, bronze, and brass. The vacuum is airless, and burns a fine layer of metal off the surface of the treated material. This gives the product a beautiful and strong finish made to last the life of the product.
Aluminum Heat Treating: Oftentimes aluminum parts require additional treatment. A variety of processes, like annealing, stress relieving, glycol quenching, case hardening, precipitation strengthening, and tempering, are performed depending on the customer’s requirements.
How it Works
The process alters the physical (and sometimes chemical) makeup of the treated metal in a way that doesn’t change its shape. Extreme heat is most often used to increase the toughness of a product, but it can also be used after the hydorforming or deep draw processes to restore a metal’s ability to deform under tensile stress (so re-shaping is possible).
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