The properties of a material can be specifically improved by controlled heating and cooling. This process, which uses industrial furnaces such as chamber furnaces or air circulation furnaces, is called heat treatment. In contrast to hot forming, the shape of the workpiece remains the same.
The thermal processes, such as hardening and annealing, profoundly change the structure of the material. The thermochemical processes, such as carburizing, case hardening, nitriding or boriding, only change the texture and chemical composition of the surface.
Heat treatment can, for example, increase the material strength, corrosion resistance and the load capacity of the product. The processes used for this purpose are also called stress-oriented processes. The production-oriented processes, on the other hand, facilitate or improve machining.
Steel is best suited for heat treatment. With aluminum, due to the low melting temperature, special care must be taken to maintain the exact temperature to avoid structural damage.
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