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Age Hardening for Steel Forging

What is Age Hardening?

Age hardening,also called precipitation hardening, is a type of heat treatment commonly used for steel forging. Its name comes from the point in the hardening process in which the steel forging is aged, can be heated for an extended of time or keep it stored at a lower temperature for an extended period before use to form precipitates. This treatment is used on malleable alloys, such as steel for closed die forging.

Process of Age Hardening for Steel Forging

Process of age hardening is that first heating steel forging blanks to a high temperature, temperature will depend on the steel specification we choosed and the desired properties required. For example, stainless steel is heat treated at about 480 °C for an hour. Alloying materials are added and allowed to diffuse through the metal until the heated steel is supersaturated with them, meaning that the amount of these materials dissolved in the metal is higher than would be possible for a solid solution at room temperature.

Next the metal is aged. In some alloys,this is done by keeping the steel forgings heated for several hours at a temperature lower than that of the initial phase but still much higher than room temperature. Other alloys are stored for days or weeks at room temperature. At lower temperatures, it is no longer possible for all of the alloying materials to remain dissolved in the supersaturated steel, and so some of it undergoes precipitation and separates from the solid solution, becoming impurities spread throughout the steel forging. The temperature at which the aging process occurs affects how this precipitation occurs, and so influences the mechanical properties. Below is a table shows how the aging time will effect the hardness of steel forging parts.
age hardening for steel forging
Fuction of Age Hardening for Steel Forging

Beside the advantage of steel forging, age hardening process will also prevent the plastic deformation of steel forging parts. Thus, to increase the strength and other properties of products, but plastic deformation and toughness is low. Alloys created by the age hardening process have many uses, especially in applications where high strength and good performance at high temperatures are needed. If you need to make your parts in steel forged with age hardening treatment, also pls contact us. 

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