Hardening and tempering are two heat treatment processes used to increase the hardness and toughness of metals such as steel.
Hardening involves heating the metal to a high temperature and then rapidly quenching it in a liquid such as oil or water. This causes the metal to cool rapidly, resulting in a hard, brittle structure. The goal of hardening is to increase the hardness of the metal and make it more wear-resistant.
Tempering is a subsequent heat treatment process that involves reheating the hardened metal to a lower temperature and holding it at that temperature for a specified period of time. The goal of tempering is to reduce the brittleness of the hardened metal and increase its toughness by allowing some of the internal stresses to be relieved. This process results in a metal with improved ductility and toughness, while still retaining its hardness.
The specific temperatures and cooling rates used in the hardening and tempering processes depend on the type of metal and the desired properties. For example, a high-carbon steel may require a higher hardening temperature and more rapid quenching than a low-carbon steel. Similarly, the tempering temperature and time will depend on the desired balance between hardness and toughness.
The combination of hardening and tempering is often used in the production of tools, knives, and other metal components that require a high degree of wear resistance and toughness.Request A Quote