Solution Annealing

Solution annealing is a high temperature heat treat process where the alloying elements of the material are brought into a solid solution.  The solid solution condition is maintained by quenching the material in water or polymer.  Aluminum in the solution annealed condition is in a soft state allowing the material to be readily formed or straightened to the required shape or straightening tolerance.

Capability

ThermTech has multiple solution annealing 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

Solution annealing is a relatively high temperature heat treating process typically run at temperatures between 915F and 990F.  The material is held at the temperatures for a period of time necessary to bring the alloying elements into a solid solution.  Typical times range from 20 minutes to several hours depending on the material and section thickness.  The material is quenched in water or polymer retaining the material in the solid solution state. The relatively high processing temperature coupled with the rapid cooling often results in some degree of distortion. Post solution anneal straightening may be required prior to the age hardening process.  

Recommendations

Solution anneal heat treating is required for aluminum alloys for age hardening to be effective.  Distortion is often a concern due to the elevated heat treating temperatures and rapid cooling in water or polymer.  Post solution anneal straightening may be necessary before the material is age hardened.  ThermTech has many years of experience creating fixtures and racking solutions to minimize the risk of distortion.  Additionally, ThermTech has extensive straightening capabilities to meet your post solution anneal straightness tolerances.