Solution-annealing
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SOLUTION ANNEALING OF FORGINGS

Therm Tech can accomplish solution annealing heat treatment of stainless steel product in open fire, atmosphere or vacuum depending on the material and required surface finish.

All furnaces meet AMS 2750 class 5 specifications for temperature uniformity & pyrometry.

Size capabilities depend on atmosphere requirements and temperature.

Maximum Open Fire Capacity: 72” x 36” x 144”
Maximum Vacuum Capacity: 72” x 36” x 36”
Maximum Atmosphere Capacity: 96” x 60” x 48”

Process

The process of solution annealing is typically applied to stainless steels and high nickel alloys for heat resistant and corrosion resistant applications. These are generally high temperature processes requiring rapid quenching.

The most common application of the solution annealing process is used for austenitic stainless steels.

Solution annealing 300 series stainless steels improves corrosion resistance by putting carbides into solution in the microstructural matrix.

A rapid quench inhibits carbides from reforming during cooling. Austenitic stainless steels are not solution annealed to appreciably change mechanical properties.

Many other materials receive solution annealing for reasons of changing mechanical properties.

Some materials, such as 17-4 stainless steel & some Inconels, are solution annealed as a pre-treatment for age hardening. This ultimately provides the required mechanical properties for the part application.

Recommendations

Selection of the proper atmosphere is a critical factor when choosing proper processing parameters for solution annealing. If no oxidation is allowable a vacuum process should be selected.

ALUMINUM

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.

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