Age Hardening

Age hardening, also known as precipitation hardening is a low temperature heat treating process to increase the strength and mechanical properties of many aluminum alloys.  Aluminum in the solution annealed condition is a prerequisite of the age hardening process.  Aluminum in the T-0 condition must be solution annealed prior to the aging process for the age to be effective.

Capability

ThermTech has multiple aging furnaces to meet your heat treating needs.  All aluminum furnaces are surveyed to meet AMS 2750E class 3 temperature requirements of +/-10F.  ThermTech has furnaces capable of running work up to 72” horizontally and 74” vertically.

Process

Aging is a low temperature heat treating process typically run at temperatures between 225F and 350F.  The material is held at the temperatures for an extended period of time; between 5 and 36 hours depending on the material.  Due to the low temperatures, distortion is generally not an issue during the aging process.  However, the material must be straight prior to the aging process because the increase in strength and mechanical properties drastically reduces the materials ductility making post-age straightening difficult.

Recommendations

Insure the material is in the solution annealed condition prior to the aging process.  If the material is in the T-0 condition, the parts must be solution annealed prior to aging for the age to be effective.  If the material has a straightness tolerance, all straightening activities must be performed prior to the aging process.