Solving Excess Distortion - Akron Steel Treating



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Solving Excess Distortion

February 10, 2022

When you’re in the metal fabrication industry, every blemished or imperfect part that comes off your manufacturing line matters to your bottom line. When you send your parts off to a heat treatment vendor, the last thing you want to do is waste precious time and money on a process that creates unacceptable amounts of distortion, turning your product into scrap.

Types of Distortion from Heat Treatment

There are two types of distortion that can occur as a result of heat treatment: dimensional distortion and shape distortion. Dimensional distortion is a result of internal crystal structure volume changes during the heating, quenching, and tempering process. Occasionally during tempering, the volume change of the internal crystal structure isn’t sufficient to make up for the changes that took place during heating and quenching. This is what causes dimensional distortion.

There are eight ways heat treatment can go wrong, resulting in shape distortion. Four of these involve temperature issues in the heat treatment process: rapid heating, overheating, non-uniform heating, and non-uniform cooling can all contribute to distortion in the heat treatment process. Distortion can also be caused by non-uniform agitation, water contamination in oil, large changes of mass and section, or asymmetric features, which are more likely to warp no matter how controlled your process.

Given all of the potential for distortion in the heat treatment process, you need an experienced vendor who can deliver minimal distortion with repeatable results. 

Excess Distortion Is Unacceptable

Some vendors may claim that the amount of distortion that happens as a result of their heat treatment is normal and that you should expect scrap as part of the process, but this simply isn’t true. Excess distortion from heat treatment is not something that you need to take for granted.

One of Akron Steel Treating Company’s clients is an American-made lock company that used to work with another heat treatment vendor. This vendor created unacceptable amounts of distortion, causing scrap parts. Those scrap parts were moved through the manufacturing stream and post-processed, wasting large amounts of money and time. 

This excess distortion is unacceptable. You don’t have to tolerate excessive distortion or try to make up for it by adding more material to your green parts. Instead, choose a vendor who can deliver minimal distortion with repeatable results.​​

In-process inspection checks are a part of ASTC’s quality management system, and our records are maintained for a minimum of 10 years for all orders. If you need your parts heat treated with a high level of quality, integrity, and repeatability, call the heat treatment specialists at Akron Steel Treating Company.

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Akron Steel Treating Company

336 Morgan Avenue, Akron, OH 44311
P.O. Box 2290, Akron, OH 44309-2290
We deliver within Ohio. 

Toll-Free: 1-800-364-ASTC (2782)
Phone: 330-773-8211 
Fax: 330-773-0772 

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