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Chapter11.ThermalProcessingofMetalAlloys

Chapter11.ThermalProcessingofMetalAlloys
[Home][Up][Chapter1.Introduction][Chapter2.AtomicStructureandBonding]
[Chapter3.StructureofCrystals][Chapter4.Imperfections][Chapter5.Diffusion]
[Chapter6.MechanicalPropertiesofMetals][Chapter7.DislocationsandStrengtheningMechanisms]
[Chapter8.Failure][Chapter9.PhaseDiagrams][Chapter10:PhaseTransformationsinMetals]
[Chapter11.ThermalProcessingofMetalAlloys][Chapter13.CeramicsStructuresandProperties]
[Chapter14.CeramicsApplicationsandProcessing][Chapter15.PolymerStructures]
[Chapter16.Polymers.Characteristics,ApplicationsandProcessing][Chapter17.Composites]
[Chapter19.ElectricalProperties]

AnnealingProcesses

11.1Introduction
Annealingisaheattreatmentwherethematerialistakentoahightemperature,keptthereforsometime
andthencooled.Hightemperaturesallowdiffusionprocessestooccurfast.Thetimeatthehigh
temperature(soakingtime)islongenoughtoallowthedesiredtransformationtooccur.Coolingisdone
slowlytoavoidthedistortion(warping)ofthemetalpiece,orevencracking,causedbystressesinduced
bydifferentialcontractionduetothermalinhomogeneities.Benefitsofannealingare:
relievestresses
increasesoftness,ductilityandtoughness
produceaspecificmicrostructure

11.2ProcessAnnealing
Deformingapiecethathasbeenstrengthenedbycoldworkingrequiresalotofenergy.Revertingthe
effectofcoldworkbyprocessannealingeasesfurtherdeformation.Heatingallowsrecoveryand
recrystallizationbutisusuallylimitedtoavoidexcessivegraingrowthandoxidation.

11.3StressRelief
Stressesresultingfrommachiningoperationsofnonuniformcoolingcanbeeliminatedbystressrelief
annealingatmoderatelylowtemperatures,suchthattheeffectofcoldworkingandotherheattreatments
ismaintained.

11.4AnnealingofFerrousAlloys
Normalizing(oraustenitizing)consistsintakingtheFeCalloytotheausteniticphasewhichmakesthe
grainsizemoreuniform,followedbycoolinginair.
Fullannealinvolvestakinghypoeutectoidalloystotheaustenitephaseandhypereutectoidalloysoverthe
eutectoidtemperature(Fig.11.1)tosoftenpieceswhichhavebeenhardenedbyplasticdeformation,and
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Chapter11.ThermalProcessingofMetalAlloys

whichneedtobemachined.
Spheroidizingconsistsinprolonguedheatingjustbelowtheeutectoidtemperature,whichresultsinthe
softspheroiditestructurediscussedinSect.10.5.Thisachievesmaximumsoftnessthatminimizesthe
energyneededinsubsequentformingoperations.

HeatTreatmentofSteels

1.5Hardenability
Toachieveafullconversionofausteniteintohardmartensite,coolingneedstobefastenoughtoavoid
partialconversionintoperliteorbainite.Ifthepieceisthick,theinteriormaycooltooslowlysothatfull
martensiticconversionisnotachieved.Thus,themartensiticcontent,andthehardness,willdropfroma
highvalueatthesurfacetoalowervalueintheinteriorofthepiece.Hardenabilityistheabilityofthe
materialtobehardenedbyformingmartensite.
HardenabilityismeasuredbytheJominyendquenchtest(Fig.11.2).Hardenabilityisthengivenasthe
dependenceofhardnessondistancefromthequenchedend.Highhardenabilitymeansthatthehardness
curveisrelativelyflat.

11.6InfluenceofQuenchingMedium,SpecimenSize,andGeometry
Thecoolingratedependsonthecoolingmedium.Coolingisfastestusingwater,thenoil,andthenair.
Fastcoolingbringsthedangerofwarpingandformationofcracks,sinceitisusuallyaccompaniedby
largethermalgradients.
Theshapeandsizeofthepiece,togetherwiththeheatcapacityandheatconductivityareimportantin
determiningthecoolingratefordifferentpartsofthemetalpiece.Heatcapacityistheenergycontentof
aheatedmass,whichneedstoberemovedforcooling.Heatconductivitymeasureshowfastthisenergy
istransportedtothecolderregionsofthepiece.

PrecipitationHardening
Hardeningcanbeenhancedbyextremelysmallprecipitatesthathinderdislocationmotion.The
precipitatesformwhenthesolubilitylimitisexceeded.Precipitationhardeningisalsocalledage
hardeningbecauseitinvolvesthehardeningofthematerialoveraprolongedtime.

11.7HeatTreatments
Precipitationhardeningisachievedby:

a)solutionheattreatmentwhereallthesoluteatomsaredissolvedtoformasinglephase
solution.
b)rapidcoolingacrossthesolvuslinetoexceedthesolubilitylimit.Thisleadstoa
supersaturatedsolidsolutionthatremainsstable(metastable)duetothelowtemperatures,
whichpreventdiffusion.
c)precipitationheattreatmentwherethesupersaturatedsolutionisheatedtoanintermediate
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temperaturetoinduceprecipitationandkeptthereforsometime(aging).
Iftheprocessiscontinuedforaverylongtime,eventuallythehardnessdecreases.Thisiscalled
overaging.
Therequirementsforprecipitationhardeningare:
appreciablemaximumsolubility
solubilitycurvethatfallsfastwithtemperature
compositionofthealloythatislessthanthemaximumsolubility

11.8MechanismofHardening
Strengtheninginvolvestheformationofalargenumberofmicroscopicnuclei,calledzones.Itis
acceleratedathightemperatures.Hardeningoccursbecausethedeformationofthelatticearoundthe
precipitateshinderslip.Agingthatoccursatroomtemperatureiscallednaturalaging,todistinguish
fromtheartificialagingcausedbypremeditatedheating.

11.9MiscellaneousConsiderations
Sinceforming,machining,etc.usesmoreenergywhenthematerialishard,thestepsintheprocessingof
alloysareusually:
solutionheattreatandquench
doneededcoldworkingbeforehardening
doprecipitationhardening
Exposureofprecipitationhardenedalloystohightemperaturesmayleadtolossofstrengthbyoveraging.
Terms:
Annealing
Artificialaging
Austenitizing
Fullannealing
Hardenability
Jominyendquenchtest
Overaging
Naturalaging
Precipitationhardening
Precipitationheattreatment
Processannealing
Solutionheattreatment
Spheroidizing
Stressrelief

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