If you google "thermal processing," chances are you will find a lot of information on the thermal processing of plastic wafers or food. However, these are just two types of thermal processing that are applied to various materials. There is also thermal processing as it applies to metals. Here is an explanation of what these processes are, what it does to metal alloys, and why it should matter to your construction business.
Heating to a Higher Temperature and/or Adding Another Metal
Most thermal processes for metal involve altering the metal's atomic structure. This involves heating the metal to a really high temperature to destroy certain chemical atoms within the metal, then slowly cooling the transformed metal so that it becomes a valuable metal for construction of steel i-beams and the like. This is typically known as annealing.
Another common process is to heat the metal to a really high temperature, and then add another metal to the mix. It is then stirred together while continuing its heated climb. Doing so causes the two metals to fuse at the atomic level and create a metal alloy that will have shared properties from its parent metals. This is known as tempering and is commonly used to create construction materials like rebar.
Cooling, Reheating and Cooling Again
Cooling processes are also part of thermal processing for metals. In a process known as precipitation hardening, or age hardening, the metal alloy is first cooled slowly, then reheated, and finally cooled again over a very long period of time. This is done to strengthen the material as well as to expose potential weak spots (which does not happen that often, but is still worth the lengthy cooling process because you are assured of the material's durability). The reason why you might be interested in whether or not your construction materials have undergone this process is because it causes the cost of materials to rise significantly, but it also is best suited to build structures that are better able to withstand earthquakes.
Understanding Why These Processes Should Be Important to Your Construction Business
All of these processes are used to make metal and steel building supplies. Without them, many buildings over two stories could not be built and could not stand. These processes also dictate the cost of your building materials when you are constructing a bid for a project, and that is something else you need to take into consideration.
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