Annealing refers to the heat treatment process that modifies the physical and occasionally the chemical properties of a certain material in order to increase its ductility and reduce the hardness of the material so that it will become more workable. To perform this procedure, annealing equipment is used. The annealing equipment heats the material above the temperature where it crystallizes. It then maintains a suitable temperature for the material and then allows it to cool down.
During the process of annealing, the atoms disperse in the crystallized lattice and the dislocations decreases. This will then improve the ductility of the material and alter its hardness.
If you are working with silver, copper, brass and steel, the annealing equipment process is done by heating the material until it glows for a while. You then allow it to cool down slowly at room temperature. The brass, copper and silver can be slowly cooled down in air or if you prefer a quicker way of cooling the material, you can quench it in water. However, ferrous materials like the steel have to be cooled down slowly in order to anneal. When the metal is cooled down, it can be now be subjected for further work like stamping, forming or shaping.
What is furnace annealing?
Furnace annealing refers to the method of cooling and heating on objects like the glass, silicon wafers, metal and ceramics. This procedure usually improves the qualities of different materials. The materials’ durability, strength and ductility are significantly improved. Furnace annealing will enhance the machinability of different types of materials. As the name suggests, the process takes place inside a machine that is known as the annealing equipment or furnace. The material is placed inside the oven and will enable the handler to control the heating and cooling of the object.
One of the most common products that are produced by undergoing the process of annealing is the metal wire. Annealing alters the internal structure of most metal products like the copper, silver and steel. Their ability to stretch and ductility are enhanced. This is possible because the metals are subjected to extreme temperatures beyond the metal’s crystallization temperature. This results in the atom moving into its state of equilibrium. When the metals reach a state of equilibrium, the stresses in the metal are usually healed. The stresses in metal objects cause them to break easily; this is eliminated in the annealing process. Most of the time when the metal is processed thoroughly, one uses a very bright annealing furnace. This type of annealing equipment uses a special blend of gases which in turn reduce carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. It also anneals the metals inside a vacuum. A more appropriate term for the furnace referred in this application is the vacuum annealing furnace. Using either method, the finished product will always have a great luster.
The temperature to be used when annealing using a furnace annealing machine is dependent of the material that is being treated. Every metal has different temperature for recrystallization. Glasses and ceramics have different temperatures where their atoms are stabilized.