Materials engineers heat treat metals for a variety of reasons that include steel hardening, softening, tempering, and strengthening. The end result depends entirely on the purpose or application of the metal item. For off-road parts, heat treatment is primarily used to achieve two main goals – strength and durability.
How Does the Heat Treatment Process Work?
The heat treatment process for steel items varies. For example, a piece of DOM tubing may undergo a different heating process than a heim joint. Generally, heat treated steel parts would be produced using the following basic steps:
- Heating – the metal would be heated and soon become “red hot.” The point of removal depends on the fabricator’s composition preference.
- Soaking – at this stage, the metal must achieve uniform levels of heat in order to maintain desired structural integrity.
- Cooling – this is typically the last step of the heat treatment process. Again, the method of cooling will depend on the metal and desired outcome. Therefore, cooling may be sudden (submersion in a cool substance) or slow (left to gradually reach room temperature).
What is the End Result?
If heat treatment were used on a chromoly heim joint, the ideal end result would be a stronger and more durable heim joint that is more resistant to wear-and-tear and is longer lasting.
We heat treat all of our heim joints to create a superior quality product. And when you are out on the trail, that makes all of the difference!