The Basics of Bright Annealing

by | Jun 21, 2016 | Metal Heat Treating Service

Anyone aware of the processes of heat treating metals, such as stainless steel, has heard of annealing. This process is frequently used in order to increase the ductility and decrease the brittleness of metals. In addition, annealing lessens internal stresses, which means that the inclination of certain metals to crack or distort is decreased. One of the most popular types of this process is bright annealing.

Defining Bright Annealing

Bright annealing is the result of annealing a metal in a specific furnace in which the atmosphere is controlled with great care. The atmosphere either exists within a vacuum or is inert. This protective environment prevents the oxidation and contamination of the metal surface, resulting in a bright surface.

Influences on Bright Annealing Success

A number of factors must be considered carefully with the implementation of bright annealing. First of all, the surface mush always be clean and free of foreign matter. In addition, the atmosphere must be entirely oxygen free.

The relation between temperature and time is of particular importance to the annealing process. The control and balance of the cycles for these factors must be watched carefully to ensure levels are met and maintained.

Why Bright Annealing is the Right Choice

The final appearance is one of the main reasons that manufacturers opt for bright annealing, which will even leave stainless steel bright and shiny. However, this is not the only reason to choose this process.

The vacuum method of this type of annealing will eliminate unwanted oxidation. The processes of heating and cooling are better controlled. Products of divergent dimensions have increased handling ability. In addition, the product is cooled much more rapidly than with other annealing methods.

This process results in a clear, bright surface, It is easier to machine and more facile to form. Not only are internal stresses reduced, but also the component’s crystal structure is refined. The result is a win-win situation for both the company doing the metal treating and the manufacturer.

In some instances of heat treating, the manufacturer will require more than an improvement of chemical and physical properties of products or metal components. They also want the final material to have an appearance that appeals to the eye. This is when they turn to bright annealing, which provides an attractive surface. The end result is a strong and durable metal that customers will find appealing.

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