When you want to use fasteners such as Hastelloy C276 cap nuts, it is normally necessary to ensure that they are suitably prepared for the application they will be used for. The strategies you will use for such preparation depend on many things including the type of fastener you are using, what it’s made of and the environment you will be using it. However, it’s always apparent that making the necessary preparations will have an influence in increasing the longevity of the joint that you make using the fasteners, and will also go a long way in optimizing the overall quality of the item you are putting together.
An introduction to heat treatment
One of the ways in which such a fastener can be prepared is through heat treatment. This is a method of preparation that has been used in many circumstances, and is one of the oldest methods of doing so. Fastener types such as titanium hex tap bolts are usually subjected to heat treatment, and have been since the inception of the use of metal fasteners.
However, the fact that this is the oldest method of fastener treatment does not mean that it’s very straightforward or that it’s been the same for all this time. The central component in this method of treatment is the use of heat, but the way in which it is used has been changing with time. Simply placing the fastener in some heat for some time might not confer it with the properties you hope to give it through heat treatment. These days, issues such as how long the material is heated as well as what temperature it’s heated at are carefully calibrated to yield different results depending on what the goal of the treatment is.
Examples of some of the advances in heat treatment
The process of heat treatment has been evolving over time. Today, there are many advanced methods of doing it including:
- Heating the fasteners in a vacuum
- The use of waste heat recovery systems to make the process more energy efficient
- The use of updated furnace designs that make it easier to control the temperatures within the furnace.
- The use of computers to control the process of heat treatment. For instance, they can now be used to determine whether or not the material has gotten the properties one is aiming for through the heat treatment process.
The goals of heat treatment
There are many end points that one can achieve through heat treatment. Some of the most common of these include varying the hardness of the fastener, modifying its ductility, reducing or increasing stress in different parts of the fastener and even changing the look of the fastener.
The most important thing to note is that using heat treatment is a double edged sword, and should thus be used with caution. For instance, overdoing it might negate some of the benefits of heat treatment. You should therefore always buy your heat treated fasteners from a source that pays attention to quality.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.