Thermal processing provides sturdy, highly heat-resistant properties for metals used in a wide range of industries. Tempering is a critical step in thermal processing. Here are just a few reasons why tempering is such an important part of the process.
Removing Excess Hardness
The process of producing steel leads to a considerable amount of hardness in the nearly finished product. This makes the metal less malleable, making it more difficult to form the product into coils and other shapes needed for a range of applications. Tempering relies on using heat to essentially soften the metal at high temperatures and then allowing it to cool for a period of time. This gives the metal more flexibility, so it can be formed to meet the needs of the user.
Prevents Metal From Becoming Brittle
Metals can become brittle during thermal processing. Tempering draws in thermal heat to soften the metal slightly, making it less brittle. When the brittle aspects of the metal are removed, you can then begin to form the metal to suit your needs. You'll get a more durable product that won't break under the stress of everyday commercial applications. For materials such as cast iron that are thought to be brittle by nature, tempering can make it easy to form the metal into durable, sturdy pieces of equipment.
While tempering requires some expertise to determine the exact temperature and processing times, the equipment available in the industry today makes it easier to provide this critical step in your thermal processing applications. Tempering ovens allow you to temper your metals after the quenching process without having to perform the process by hand. These ovens are typically large enough to handle a considerable load, and can also be calculated to work in conjunction with your other thermal processing equipment.
Works With A Range of Materials
Tempering is designed to work with ferrous, or iron, alloys. Materials with iron components include the following:
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel
- Wrought iron
- Cast iron
- Alloy steels
With so many versatile options, tempering can be used in your facility to create a range of products for industrial, commercial and residential uses.
Tempering is only part of thermal processing, but it is a critical component. Understanding the benefits of tempering can help you to make sure that you are choosing materials that are processed in the way that best benefits your products and your consumers.