Annealing steel such as with 4140 or 1045 steel is a heat treatment process wherein the material composition is altered, causing changes in its properties such as hardness and ductility. The annealing steel process raises the metal temperature to above a critical point, maintains a suitable temperature until saturation, and then cools the metal to finish the process. We typically anneal all 4140 material that is flame cut at our facility. Customers also typically ask that we anneal or stress relieve 1045 material.
Annealing is used to induce ductility, soften material, relieve internal stresses, refine the structure by making it homogeneous and improve cold working properties. In the case of steel, this process is performed by substantially heating the material (generally until glowing) and allowing it to cool. In this fashion the metal is softened and prepared for further work such as shaping, stamping, or forming.
PGI Steel’s annealing is done in a 8′ x 8′ x 14′ car bottom furnace. This furnace has a 40,000 lb. capacity. Typically, we operate our furnace five nights a week.