There are many ways to strengthen metal. No matter which particular way you choose, be it thermal processing or some other method, metal strengthening is incredibly important. After all, you want your materials to be able to make it through production and, then, to be part of a product that is strong, durable, and long-lasting. Even after the initial processing, however, there are still things you can do to strengthen your metal and increase its integrity.
Increase Dislocation Density
One of the most important things you can do is to increase the dislocation density of your metals during the initial processes that you put them through. In order to achieve a high dislocation density, you will have to either manually break bonds simultaneously through the use of very high heat during the deformation period or take care of it mechanically with the right machinery.
The latter option will require less work on your part, but the former is better for strictly controlling the heat and properties of the finished metal. Whichever option you choose, it is important that you pick some kind of method to increase dislocation density if you want your metals to be as strong yet as pliable as possible.
Be Strict with Slip Systems
Slip systems, obviously, are an important part of processing. If you want to ensure that your metal will be as strong as possible both during and after processing, you will need to aim for a high packing density during processing.
In order to achieve the correct slip system, you will need to make sure that the distance between each atom is smaller than it would normally be. However, when comparing the perpendicular distance, that must be longer.
This will allow your atoms to move more distantly and freely, ultimately resulting in a stronger metal product.
Consider Combining Processing Methods
Finally, depending on the type of metal you are working with, you may want to consider combining processing methods. For example, thermal processing often works well in conjunction with cryogenic processing methods.
When you combine these two methods, your products will benefit by increased fatigue and general stress resistance, increased pliability, increased tensile strength, and a reduced need for pre-heat treating.
As you can see, you don't have to rely on your processing method alone to improve metal strength. That doesn't mean you shouldn't choose a solid, reliable processing method, but it does mean that you should enact other strategies as well for best results. Contact Pacific Metallurgical Inc for more information.