Batch furnaces are used for a variety of applications including:
- Annealing – is a heat treatment where the material is altered though heating above its critical temperature, causing molecular changes in its grain structure to achieve specified mechanical properties such as hardness and ductibility. Annealed material is cooled, or quenched using either air, oil or water. Most annealing is initially done at the mill, but in many cases material must be annealed again prior to age hardening or other processes in order to arrive at the desired mechanical properties.
- Normalizing – similar treatment as annealing from the heating perpective, but employs only still or slighted agitated air cooling.
- Tempering – is a heat treatment done following hardening but at a much lower temperature. Tempering is used to decrease the hardness of the metal and to give it more toughness and flexibility. Very hard material is typically very brittle and requires tempering to give it mechanical properties useful to its application. As an example: A knife when initially treated to harden, holds an edge very well, but if not tempered, would break easily if lateral forces were applied to the blade. Tempering allows the blade to maintain reasonable sharpness, while gaining flexibility. All of our furnaces at Katy Heat Treat are capable of tempering, giving us a wide variety of size flexibility.
- Age Hardening – also known as precipitation hardening, is a heat treatment used to increase the yield strength (the amount of stress necessary to permanently and measurably deform the material) primarily in metal alloys. This process is used extensively with exotic or super alloys giving them excellent high temperature yield strength. Katy Heat Treat specializes in this particular treatment and has the ability to apply specialized proprietary processes, that allow high mechanical properties, while maintaining a lower than typical hardness. This lower hardness is critical for machining purposes as it allows easier and faster machining, thereby saving time and money.
- Stress Relieving – is a heat treating process that involves heating the material to a point under its critical temperature, but high enough to induce relief of stresses placed on the metal by welding, cold working and extensive machining. Stress relieving is mostly done on finished parts, castings and machined parts that have had extensive material removed as part of the process. Stress relieving is critical to prevent finished part failure when subjected to work stresses of its application. Katy Heat Treat is able to do stress relieving on a variety of sized and shaped finished material.