The Basics of Heat Treating…


Heat Treating involves heating and cooling a solid metal or alloy in such a way as to result in desired conditions or properties. Typically the end result is hardening the metal, but that isn’t always the case.

Reasons for heat treating can include the following:

  • Removing stresses such as those that typically developed in the initial machining of a part
  • Refine the grain structure of the steel used in a part
  • Add wear resistance to the surface of a part by increasing its hardness, and, at the same time, increase its resistance to impacts by maintaining a softer, more ductile core
  • Enhance the properties of an economical grade of steel, making it possible to replace a more expensive material to reduce costs in a given application
  • Increase toughness by providing a combination of high tensile strength and good ductility to enhance impact strength
  • Improve the cutting properties of tool steels
  • Enhance electrical properties
  • Alter magnetic properties