Annealing: Annealing is a very common type of heat treatment that alters a material to increase its ductility and workability. It also simultaneously produces desired changes in other properties or in microstructure. It involves heating a material to above its upper critical temperature, maintaining a suitable temperature, and then slowly cooling. Superheat is an expert on annealing and can tailor the best process for your needs.

Normalizing: Normalizing provides uniformity in grain size and composition throughout an alloy. Superheat’s technicians can normalize your steel, producing a harder and stronger product with less ductility for the same composition than full annealing.

Stress Relieving: Metal can become fatigued over time due to stress build-up. Cold working, hot rolling, grinding, quenching treatments, welding, and thermal cutting can all induce residual stress into metal. The nature of residual stress, its distribution, and prediction of the level within a metal is a complex and not completely understood phenomenon, but you can be sure it is present. Superheat is able to adapt stress relief to your welding needs, while keeping safety top-of-mind.

Post-Welding: Post-weld heat treatments (PWHT) can be configured to your specifications or we’ll consult you on the best process for your metallurgy and application. Post-Weld Heat Treatment is performed after welding, generally at a higher temperature and with different objectives than preheat/interpass heating. PWHT may need to be applied without allowing the temperature to drop below the specified minimum for preheat/interpass heating.

Preheating: Preheating is the application of heat to the base metal immediately before and during welding, brazing, soldering, thermal spraying, or cutting. In simplified terms, preheating in environments where hydrogen is present in contact with the metal, the hydrogen works its way into the metal over time and temperature fluctuations. This is undesirable when doing a weld repair due to pockets of hydrogen build-up, which will cause the repair to crack during the cooling process. Therefore, the answer is a bakeout, which simply is holding the metal at the repair site to a certain elevated temperature for a specified amount of time. This expands the metal structure and gives adequate time for hydrogen to escape to the atmosphere. This dramatically reduces the chance of the weld repair cracking after cool down.

Tempering: Tempering is a process of heat treating, which is used to increase the toughness of iron-based alloys. Tempering is generally performed after hardening, to reduce some of the excess hardness, and is done by heating the metal to a much lower temperature than was used for hardening. The exact temperature determines the amount of hardness removed and depends on both the specific composition of the alloy and on the desired properties in the finished product. For instance, very hard tools are often tempered at low temperatures, while springs are tempered to much higher temperatures.

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Not all heat treatment processes are created equal. Get the facts on our Superheat SmartWay™ and see why we’re the industry leader in safety and reliability.