Metal aging, also called artificial aging, refers to artificially accelerating the aging process in metals to achieve increased levels of hardness, tensile strength and/or an improved elastic limit (the maximum stress that a material will stand before it is permanently warped or deformed). Products comprised of aged metal, such as steel, are:
• Highly durable
• Better able to withstand repeated pulling or stretching from external forces
While aging does occur naturally in metal, it is not always cost-efficient or effective to allow the metal to do so in uncontrolled conditions. For instance, while the metal may increase in hardness, prolonged exposure to oxygen or other gases in the atmosphere might cause unwanted changes in the color or brightness of the metal. As a result, manufacturers rely on Quality Steel Treating’s vacuum aging services to help their metal products leverage all the benefits of aging, without risk of unwanted effects, in a shorter time span.
Often in manufacturing, a metal must be highly ductile, or easily formed or shaped, in order to facilitate the production process. However, once manufacturing is complete, the metal’s hardness must be increased to ensure lasting product performance. Artificial aging accomplishes this objective.
For industries such as power generation, in which metal parts and components are exposed to intense heat over long periods of time, protecting from wear and corrosion sometimes requires a special coating. In these instances, the metal coating must be hardened through curing, ensuring it adheres to the part and performs its function for the long-term. Quality Steel Treating performs curing services for a wide range of metal coatings used not only in the production of land-based turbines, but also in the automotive, marine and motor racing industry.