Heat treating is the process of heating and cooling steel in a controlled manner. This process modifies the steel’s properties optimizing for end use or the next processing step. At King Steel, we utilize induction heat-treating processes to meet customer requirements.
Austenitizing is the first step in our heat-treating process. In this stage, the bar transfers to a uniform, austenitic state. Austenite transformation takes place above 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The specific austenitizing temperature used for each item depends on the grade, diameter, and customer specifications. Holding steel to a particular temperature for the required time is key to creating a uniform, austenitic structure.
Quenching is the rapid cooling of steel in water, oil, or air to achieve certain material properties. In our quenching process, we use temperature-controlled water to uniformly harden the steel. Additionally, just like other stages of the heat treatment process, quenching also relies on time and temperature. The difference is that quenching achieves a critical cooling rate and final temperature. Quenching transforms the austenite into martensite.
Tempering is required in almost all applications to ensure that the steel is not too brittle. During this stage of the heat treatment process, we hold the bar at a predefined temperature for a specific duration, which then determines the final hardness of the bar. Both the time and temperature are determined by the steel grade and diameter, as well as any hardness or mechanical properties that are specified by the customer.
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