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Hardening

Hardening is a process of heating followed by instant cooling for increasing hardness and mechanical strength of steel. Induction hardening using induction heating and quenching provides an economical way to process shafts, gears, bearings, yokes, spindles, sprockets, wire, tube, pipe or other parts.

Induction is a contactless process that quickly produces intense, localized and controllable heat that can be isolated. With induction, only the part to be hardened is heated. Optimizing process parameters such as heating cycles, frequencies and coil and quench design result in optimal outcomes.

There are different methods for heating such as electric oven, flame, induction, etc. The steels that are normally used in induction hardening contain from 0.3% to 0.7% carbon (hypoeutectic steels).

Induction hardening can be achieved in two different ways:

- Static (by single shot) Mechanism- Comprises of setting the part in front of the inductor and executing the operation without moving either the part or the inductor. This mechanism is swift and requires simple mechanics to enable an accurate localization of the treated area. It is the same for parts with a complicated geometry.

- Progressive (by scanning) Mechanism- Comprises of going over the part with a continuous operation, moving either the part or the inductor. This mechanism ensures that parts with large surface areas and large sizes can be treated.

 

Advantages/Benefits of hardening

  • It treats specific parts of the workpiece without physical contact
  • Shorter time for processes with temperature control
  • Energy efficient process, since only a small portion of material is heated and uses less than 5% of mass treated to accomplish desired properties.
  • Results will be accurate even on complex workpiece with contours or uneven geometries.
  • It boosts throughput and is an extremely fast and repeatable process, highly popular in high volume production lines with strict quality requirements.