heat treating process?
A metal is a material composed of a group of interlocking atoms or molecules, primarily carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, with various other elements forming minor components. Metals exhibit physical properties that make them useful as structural materials in buildings and machines. In their various forms, they are vital for use in many electronic devices such as cell phones. Here we will look at the heat-treating process and its application in mining.
What is Heat Treatment
Heat treatment is a process of changing the mechanical, physical, and performance properties of metal. It involves raising temperatures to a specified point above which recrystallization takes place. The process alters the metal’s shape and structure, producing a desirable property for its application. In other words, metal is raised to a super-heated state where it changes from one state to another. A desirable malleability is achieved at an intermediate temperature, the transformation temperature. This temperature is affected by several factors, including alloying (e.g., quench steel, electrum) and impurities in the metal. The process is an example of diffusion bonding, like welding, soldering, and brazing. At the atomic level, it involves the diffusion of atoms that results in a change of crystal structure (e.g., martensite) which becomes significantly stronger when compared with the original material.
During extraction, many valuable minerals are found intermixed with gangue. This is the worthless material in large quantities within ores. The mineral content of ore can vary widely. Removing as much gangue as possible is necessary to obtain a concentrate with a high content of valuable material. This typically involves a combination of crushing, grinding, and gravity separation leading to a final slurry that can be processed by smelting or used in chemical recovery processes. Smelting involves using heat in a furnace to drive off elements of low boiling point and can be combined with further grinding to reduce the ore to a fine powder. One process commonly used during this stage is roasting. The ore is heated to very high temperatures in the presence of air, driving off volatile compounds. These compounds are recovered as byproducts.
Pros of The Heat Treating Process
The heat-treating process improves the surface appearance of metals by imparting a smooth finish. Heat-treated metals are more corrosion-resistant and do not develop surface craters when heated. The treatment also decreases internal stress concentrations in both brittle and ductile metal alloys so that the material can be welded better. The heat-treating process can also be used to alter the mechanical properties of a metal. This is accomplished by changing its microstructure through the use of heat. While low-carbon and medium-carbon steel have nearly the same strength at room temperature, the medium-carbon has more tensile strength than the former when it is quenched to room temperature or below.
The process can also produce desired microstructures in metals, e.g., martensite. It is possible to change the microstructure of crystalline metals, such as copper, bronze, and iron, by heat treatment. The process may also be used to solve defects of melting point range in copper-base alloys. Other applications include tempering non-ferrous metals used for industrial applications, such as copper, aluminum, and brass.
Cons of The Heat Treating Process
Heat treatment causes distortion and cracking, so it is not suitable for all metals. Treatment of stainless steel can cause cracking due to its low thermal expansion coefficient and high thermal cycle sensitivity. Surface oxidation is also accelerated during these processes, resulting in poor bonding to the material. Nickel alloys are more sensitive than other materials because of the passive layer produced during the process.
Due to alloying or impurities, chemical effects can alter a metal’s properties. These include changes in the coefficient of thermal expansion, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity. The resulting microstructure may also not be as strong as desired for all sections of the material. TensileMill CNC offer various range of products to satisfy your needs.
How Heat Treating Process Influenced The Mining Industry
Extracting tough minerals from their host rocks is one of the industry’s most laborious and time-consuming processes. Before heat treatment, companies relied on the weak forces of gravity and shear to separate the valuable minerals from the less useful gangue. Millions of tons of rock are shattered during the extraction process by high-pressure blasts. These rocks are then mechanically pulverized. Afterward, the desired metals are separated through gravity separation or screen washing. The rocks that have been separated into a coarse aggregate (gravel) and fine aggregates that may contain valuable metals must then be ground to reduce them to fine powder for further processing.
A mining process using heat treating allowed the isolation and recovery of more valuable minerals from rocks. The process improved the yield and grade of the extracted minerals. Today, mining equipment has been refined so that extraction of alluvial and talus deposits, particularly during the early stages of a mining and heat treating operation, yields a more significant percentage of valuable minerals with less rock waste. While the heat treatment process is only one component in an overall extraction process, it increases the quality of metals produced. During the fabrication of metal products, the heat treatment process decreases weight, increases strength, and improves the formability of metal products.
Why Heat Treating is an Important Process in Mining
In the modern world, metals such as copper, tin, and aluminum are used in almost every product. Aluminum is used in vehicles, appliances, architectural structures, and building materials. Copper is used for electrical wiring, plumbing pipes, and wiring. Steel is manufactured into various products, including automobiles and ships. These metals are subjected to tremendous amounts of heat and stress during production. The heat treating in mining shapes and hardens wrought iron, protects aluminum alloys from corrosion and increases the melting point of other electrically conductive substances such as Inconel. It can also reduce bond stress in a material subjected to mechanical shock or fatigue.
The mining industry requires a large labor force to obtain the minerals needed to manufacture these metals. As such, the industry is heavily influenced by production costs. Reducing these costs is an important goal of many mining operations. This goal often depends on advances in technology, equipment, and approaches that reduce waste and improve cost efficiency. Heat treatment is a cost-effective and efficient way of treating metals and metal alloys. It can also reduce waste and improve the quality of processed materials.
When manufacturing metal products from raw materials, it is essential to know whether or not a heat-treating process has been applied before manufacturing takes place. Some metals require different treatment amounts, while others do not suffer as much from applying heat. Numerous variables go into the whole manufacturing process of each particular product. If you need tensile testing equipment, TensileMill CNC is your go-to store. Besides tensile testing equipment and tensile testing services, we also provide other equipment and services such as hardness tester and hardness testing services.