Heat Treatment is an essential part of the complete service that we provide. Whether ferrous or non-ferrous alloys, heat treatment is a critical stage of the process that enhances the mechanical properties of the material. Our facility is operated by experienced Engineers and overseen by our team of on-site metallurgists.
At Investacast we use a range of heat treatment processes, either undertaken in-house or via approved sub-contractors. These processes include:
Vacuum Solution Annealing
Hardening, tempering, normalising and annealing
Aluminium heat treatment
Vacuum solution annealing
Vacuum annealing is undertaken on various grades of stainless steel, including duplex and precipitation grades. The vacuum protection that this process offers ensures that the component surface is protected throughout the high temperature process, which is critical for small intricate parts.
Hardening and tempering
The hardening and tempering process is used to improve the mechanical properties of steel. Heat treatment processes are also used to increase fatigue life, raise wear resistance and provide anti corrosion properties. Hardening is carried out by heating the work to elevated temperatures (usually over 780°C). Tempering then toughens the hardened steel to remove any brittleness.
Precipitation hardening (also known as age hardening) is the method employed for the hardening of certain alloys. Commonly, these are some types of stainless steel, aluminium and copper-based alloys. The precipitation hardening treatment follows a solution annealing treatment which is carried out at high temperature followed by one or more ageing to achieve the correct hardness.
Normalising and annealing
Normalising and annealing of steels conditions the steel so that it achieves a more homogeneous structure that improves machinability and removes internal stresses that can build up during the casting and post casting stages of production.
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