In the last post, we highlighted the laser cutting part of our machine knife manufacturing process. In this post, we are giving you a behind the scenes look at the next step of the manufacturing process, heat treating.
Heat treating is a process of heating and cooling metals to critical temperatures to alter their structure and encourage more desirable characteristics — for example, certain heat treatments can harden the metal, reduce brittleness, decrease metal stresses or eliminate impurities.
The Heat Treatment Process
The heat treating process takes place in three steps. This ensures the material is at its best for our customers:
- The first step in the heat treat process is the hardening of the metal. In this step, the iron-base alloys are through heated a critical temperature, approximately 1750 Degree F. The metal is held at this temperature until all pearlite is transformed into austenite.
- Next, the steel is quenched. It is during the quenching process where the steel is rapidly cooled that transformation of the molecular structure initiates and the steel reaches the “As Quenched Maximum Hardness.” After the quench hardening step, material form is a fine, needle-like grain structure, although full transformation does not occur until ambient temperature is met.
- The third and final step is annealing or/tempering where blades are brought to a temperature between 300 and 1100 degrees Fahrenheit for long soak periods of four hours or more. It is during the tempering process that the steel is brought down from the highest hardness to the proper hardness for optimum performance. The annealing process involves treating the steel to an incredibly high temperature and then cooling it slowly. Annealing the metal removes the stresses and induces ductility for durable results, allowing the steel to undergo large strains without failing. The annealing and tempering process is a 1-3 cycle process depending on the chemistry of the steel.
A proper heat treating process provides the best material condition so that knives perform to their highest potential.
Learn More About Our Processes and Products Today
When you work with York Saw & Knife Co, Inc., we supply only the finest machine knives, saw blades and custom products available. All of our products are carefully manufactured in the United States to ensure only the finest quality and dependable results. To learn more about our wide range of products, our machine knife manufacturing capabilities, or our heat treating process, contact us today!