There are several different options to consider when hardening parts. In all types of hardening, the purpose is to heat the part or component to a specific temperature for a specific time and then cooling, usually at a fast rate, to boost the strength of the part or component.
However, there can be challenges in applying heat to the full part or component. This is particularly true if the part has undergone processing before the hardening, which means a result in changes in other aspects of the part which are undesirable.
To address this issue, induction hardening offers the ideal solution. This hardening process can be applied only to the areas required, leaving the other areas of the part or component free from the application of heat. This means no additional working of the component after the hardening process is completed.
How it Works
In most situations, induction hardening is used on steel. In addition, the steel will need to have at least 0.3 to 0.7 percent carbon. Other alloys with electrical conductivity can also be treated using this method.
It is possible to use the induction method to treat the entire piece, or it can be localized. It can also treat just the surface of a full cross-section based on the amount of energy supplied by the equipment on the desired location.
As mentioned above, since the heat comes from induction and not a radiant heat source, the induction hardening process can be very precise. It also makes the heating process incredibly fast, often just requiring seconds per part.
Fast cooling through quenching also speeds up this part of the process, allowing parts to be more quickly hardened, cooled and prepared for shipping. With fully automated systems, this is a very quick, precise and cost-effective option to consider.