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Heat treatment of copper and copper alloys

Today I will be discussing on heat treatment of copper and copper alloys. Previously, an article was published on heat treatment on ferrous metals.

Heat treatment of copper

Let me recall your memory on the definition of heat treatment. Heat treatment is said to be a metal working process of changing physical and sometimes chemical process of a metal.

Heat treatment of copper and copper alloys:

The final products when copper undergoes heat treatment consists of wire and cable, sheet, strip, plate, rod, bars, tubing, powder, metallurgy shapes, forging, casting etc. All these items undergoes heat treatment for stability in their various operation. Process of heat treating copper include homogenizing, annealing, stress relieving and precipitation hardening.

Homogenizing – homogenizing is performed to dissolve or absorb segregation and coring of cast structures. It create more uniform structure in hot work materials especially containing tin and nickel.

 Annealing – annealing of copper is carried out to soften hardened (strain hardened) materials. Annealing of cold material is done by heating to a temperature that causes recrystallization. Heating above its temperature to cause grain growth. Some coppers containing iron alloy maintain an extremely fine grain size at temperature beyond their recrystallization temperature. It also exceed to the temperature were the second phase finally dissolve, proceeding the grain growth.

Finally, there are two types of annealing. soft anneal, it is below the point at which rapid grain growth begins, severally at hundred degrees higher. whist light anneal is performed at a temperature slightly above the recrystallization temperature.

Stress relieving – stress relieving is carried out to stabilize properties and improve strength and dimensions. Especially on cold work parts and to reduce residual stresses when put to service.

Solution heat treatment and precipitation hardening – it is performed to increase the copper strength by precipitation of constituents from solid solution. Examples of precipitation hardening copper alloy include beryllium copper.

And that is it for this article, heat treatment of copper and copper alloys. I hope knowledge is attain. Thanks for reading. Kindly share!

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