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It is not uncommon for one to experience problems after heat treating metals. Although it is one of the last stages during the manufacturing process, it is no less important. When done properly, heat treatment can alter the mechanical and physical properties of metals without changing their shape. When done wrong, the results are less than desirable. You want to ensure that the material is high-quality by avoiding steel heat treatment problems. Here is some information on common heat treatment problems and how to avoid them.


Low alloy metals and decarburization can cause overheating and burning. Temperatures higher than 1200 °C destroys steel and other low alloy metals. Some deterioration in mechanical properties can occur if the heat treatment is administered prior to forging and other mechanical processes.


Brittleness is another problem. Applying too much heat causes this problem. To correct brittleness issues, it may be necessary to temper the metal for a shorter length of time and to lower the hardening temperature. You can correct brittleness by increasing the hardening temperature and time if the problem is causing improper tempering and too much hardness.


Not all alloys are suitable for heat treatment. The wrong alloys create metal that doesn’t have sufficient impact strength. Bear in mind that many factors can affect the impact strength of metal, but not as much as the number and type of impurities it contains, its surface condition and if any thermal and mechanical treatments were administered.


Normalize treated metal prior to heat treating, to avoid warping. An even temperature and sufficient time are necessary. Maintain the furnace temperature throughout the entire treatment process. Proper stabilization of the metal to prevent movement during the quenching process can also help to prevent warping. It is important to time each step. The right temperatures are achieved when you time each step.


Uneven hardness is a common problem, which occurs when steam bubbles form during the cooling process, there is too much carbon on the tools and the metal’s surface was not sufficiently cleaned before treatment


Cooling fractures are very common when there is uneven heating, rapid cool down and overheating. It is possible for fractures to occur during the quenching process prior to tempering, resulting in incomplete transformation. Common causes include cold tools and residual austenite. Tempering the metal right after the hardening process and completing the transformation with treatment can help prevent cooling fractures.
Prevent steel heat treatment problems by using these techniques: vacuum furnaces, proper hardening, quenching, tempering and molten salts.


K.K. Metals is the forging manufacturing division of K.K. GROUP working with commercial clients in many industries. Our mission is to perform high-quality precision controlled heat treating to maximize productivity and lower manufacturing costs. .We at K.K. Metals have Complete in-house setup for CAD-Die Development, Cutting, Press & Hammer Forging, Heat Treatment, machining, etc. We specialize in Closed Die Forging and consistently benchmark good quality standards and processes. For more information visit

Posted on : 14/09/2017, #, Edit

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