One of the most important aspects of metal processing is heat treatment, which changes the physical properties, or molecular structure, of metal. Depending on the metal supplier’s objectives, the treatment used, and the type of metal in question, heat treatment can make metal stronger, easier to shape, or harder. The most common types of heat treatment are annealing and tempering, which Cincinnati’s leading steel supplier, American Metal Supply, will explain below. Working with businesses and manufacturers throughout Ohio and Kentucky, they know how to turn out quality materials.
The Difference Between Annealing & Tempering
When you need to render metal more malleable or enhance its conductivity, annealing will accomplish this so it doesn’t crack while it’s being shaped. The art of annealing essentially involves cooling metal slowly enough to manipulate it in the desired way; steel suppliers often accomplish by immersing the metal in sand or ashes, where it will cool slowly. Annealing is mainly used for steel metal processing, including stainless steel and cold finished steel, but it can also be used for brass, aluminum, and copper.
The main objective of this heat treatment is to make metal harder and tougher. Tempered steel, an iron alloy, is one of the best examples of this. Its extreme strength makes it suitable for applications such as storage tanks, earth moving vehicles, sharp tools and knives, high rises, and bridges. Steel suppliers often use this treatment to reduce brittleness. Tempering is achieved by heating metal to just below its critical melting point.
Need quality stainless steel or other metal or plastic products for your business? American Metal Supply supplies both raw and fabricated products, and they can handle any kind of metal processing. If you have questions about their business, call (502) 634-4321 to speak with an expert in Louisville; if you’re in Cincinnati, call (513) 396-6600. You can also visit their brand-new website for detailed information about the steel supplier’s products, services, and locations.