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Specialized Heat Treatments in Knife Development

Heat treatments ensure that your machine knives will provide the best possible wear and durability for the task. They may include:

  • Normalizing – Heat treatment at a temperature above the transformation range creates a phase change in the metal’s microstructure. The benefit of vacuum normalizing is the refinement of grains.
  • Precipitation Hardening – Hardening is achieved by precipitation of an element from a supersaturated solid solution.
  • Solution Treating – One or more of the metal elements or carbides enter into a solid solution and is then cooled rapidly enough to hold the alloy in a solution.
  • Stress Relieving – Like tempering, stress relieving is always done by heating to some temperature below the lower transformation temperature for steels and irons. The primary purpose of stress relieving is to relieve stresses that have been imparted to the workpiece from such processes as forming, rolling, machining or welding.
  • Vacuum Brazing – Metal is joined when a braze alloy creates a diffusion bond between the metal components during the thermal vacuum process. Finished parts are bright and clean.
  • Vacuum Heat Treating – Heating and cooling solid metal and alloy in a vacuum furnace creates certain desired conditions or mechanical properties. The controlled environments and precise temperature controls also enable the achievement of higher standards for the metal or alloy part. The process delivers a bright and clean finish.
  • Vacuum Hardening – Vacuum heat treating is a proven process which has been applied to tool steels and superalloys to reduce distortion and provide a clean bright surface.

Learn about other important processes needed to create a good machine knife:

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