Age Hardening For Aluminium

Age hardening, commonly called precipitation hardening, is a specialized heat treatment method aimed at modifying the mechanical, electrical, and/or corrosion properties of many aluminum alloys. This process takes place at low temperatures and serves as an invaluable tool to achieve improved mechanical properties in aluminum.

Key Benefits of Age Hardening Aluminum:

  • Augmented Strength & Hardness: The formation of dispersed precipitants throughout the microstructure obstructs dislocation movements. These fine particles offer heightened resistance to deformation, thereby increasing overall hardness and tensile strength.
  • Optimized Grain Structure: By diligently and consistently following stringent aerospace practices we ensure the development of fine evenly distributed precipitants gives rise to optimum properties.
  • Superior Wear & Corrosion Resistance: The enhanced hardness post treatment improves wear resistance. Additionally, certain alloys manifest increased resistance to corrosion after age hardening – vital for aerospace and marine sectors.
  • Stable Dimensions: Minimal distortion is witnessed during the age hardening. This stability in shape and size post-treatment is advantageous for precision-based applications.
  • Tailored Mechanical Properties: Depending on the aging duration and temperature, varying mechanical properties can be achieved, ranging from high strength to exceptional ductility and corrosion resistance.
  • Economic & Efficient: Compared to other methods, age hardening is a cost-effective way of enhancing aluminum’s properties.

Essential Facilities for Proficient Age Hardening:

At ThermTech, we are equipped with multiple aging furnaces ready to cater to diverse heat treating demands. Our aluminum furnaces are maintained for AMS 2770 and AMS 2750 Class 2 compliance meaning we maintain a temperature uniformity of +/-10F. We’re proud of our capability to accommodate work measuring up to 146” horizontally and 61” vertically.

The Age Hardening Process Breakdown:

  • Aging is a low-temperature procedure, usually executed at temperatures ranging from 225F to 350F.
  • The material is sustained at specified temperatures for durations typically spanning between 5 and 36 hours, contingent upon the specific material.
  • Given the mild temperatures utilized, warping is seldom a concern during aging.
  • It’s crucial for the material to be straight before aging. Post-age hardening, the amplified strength and mechanical attributes considerably lessen the material’s ductility, making subsequent straightening challenging.

Guidelines from ThermTech for Optimal Aging:

  • Always ensure the material is in its solution annealed state before initiating the aging process.
  • In scenarios where the material is in the T-0 state, it must undergo solution annealing prior to aging to realize effective age hardening.
  • Should the material have a strict straightness specification, all straightening procedures need to be concluded before the aging process.
In essence, age hardening aluminum offers a plethora of technical advantages, ensuring enhanced material properties in a controlled and efficient manner. With precise guidelines and state-of-the-art facilities like those at ThermTech, the outcomes of this process are both consistent and reliable.

ThermTech—Experts in Austempering Stampings, Machined Parts, and Investment Castings

ThermTech, Inc. offers both small and large batch capabilities for austempering steel and iron investment castings. Between our neutral salt bath furnaces and our larger austempering furnaces, we have the capabilities to austemper a wide variety of stamping, machined components, and investment castings. We have run austempering on alloys from 1060 through 4340 to ductile iron machined parts.

Our dedicated team works with you to ensure we meet your specifications. Count on our decades of experience with hardening, tempering, surface heat treatments, vacuum treatments, and annealing. To learn more about our services, please contact us today.

Learn more about austempering and how ThermTech can serve you by watching these videos.

Request a free quote online or call us at 800-752-6917. You can also contact us online for all your austempering and heat treating needs.

Error: Contact form not found.


ThermTech’s quality policy is ZERO DEFECTS for all customer products and in all quality management system activities. Through our efforts to continually improve the quality of the work we offer, we’ve been recognized as being able to meet the rigorous quality standards required by several of our major customers. ThermTech is certified for ISO 9001 and AS9100 in both Metal Heat Treat and Metal Finishing.