What is heat treating?

Heat treating can improve the strength, durability and reduce wear on material. It is the process of heating metal to a certain temperature, ramping the temperature(s) at a certain rate of time, soaking or holding it at the temperature(s) and then cooling it.

Why heat treat?

The purpose of heat treating is to bring steel to a hardened state. The correct hardness depends on the application of the steel being treated.

Why would I want to heat treat on my own?

The main reason you would want to do your own heat treating is to save time and money. Heat treating facilities can often be backed up, expensive and require certain size batches of material to be done at one time.

When should I heat treat?

Heat treating should be done anytime you need a material to be hard enough to hold up to wear and tear through continuous mechanical abrasion, yet be flexible enough to stand up to forceful use without breaking.

How do I check the hardness of something I heat treated?

To check the hardness of a heat treated material you would use a Rockwell hardness tester. Learn more here.<Link

What are the stages of heat treating?

  1. The Heating Stage. This is the temperature(s) at which you heat the metal.
  2. The Soaking Stage. This is the amount of time you heat the metal at a particular temperature.
  3. The Cooling Stage. This is the amount of time and the process in which you cool the metal.

How do I know how long I should heat treat and at what temperature?

Follow this link for many common heat treating recipes.