Heat treatable vs non heat treatable

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In summary, the alloys that are not heat treatable may become brittle under stress. Heat treatable alloys can be strengthened by strain hardening.
  • #1
scott_for_the_game
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Been reading about aluminium alloys.

Could someone tell me why some alloys are heat treatable and others aren't. Or why certain alloys aren't heat teat treatable.

I'm assuming the non heat treatable alloy may become brittle? But yeh bit confused.

Thanks
 
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  • #2
I apologize for not responding early, but I was on travel last week and had little time to respond.

Generally, the predominant reasons for alloying a metal are to increase strength, hardness, and resistance to wear, creep, stress relaxation and fatigue.

The low strength of pure Al limits is commercial usefulness, so it is alloyed. The tensile yield strength of high-purity Al is about 10 MPa (~1.5 ksi) while some heat-treated commercial high strength alloys have yield strengths greater than 550 MPa (80 ksi).

With respect to 'non-heat treatable' Al alloys, by definition, these are alloys that do not realize an appreciable increase in strength with heat treatment, and this is primarily because these alloys do not experience precipitation hardening. This is related to their composition.

The non-mechanical strengthening mechanisms which apply to non-heat treatable alloys include solid solution formation, second phase precipation and dispersoid precipation.

Otherwise, strain hardening can be used to increase strength in non-heat treatable.

By contrast, heat-treatable Al alloys are those alloys which do realize an appreciable increase in strength when the suitable heat treatment is applied.

There is a very good article on Aluminum and Aluminum alloys in the Metals Handbook published by ASM International.

According to the article, the elements Mg, Si, Zn, Cr or Mn alone contribute little to increased strength with thermal treatments. On the other hand, Al-Cu alloys with more than 3% Cu exhibit a natural aging after solution heat treatment and quenching. This Al-Cu system is the basis of the 2xxx series of Al alloys.
 
  • #3
Cheers Astronuc! Very wise man :P. What type of engineering have you studied..
 
  • #4
My degrees are in nuclear engineering, but because I deal with the performance of systems and structures, I have a background in materials and mechanics of materials. A lot of my work is nuclear fuel performance, and that is heavily dependent on the how the material was fabricated.

Also, back in graduate school, part of my research was in nuclear propulsion systems for spacecraft . In order to develop a satisfactory design, where materials were pushed to their limit, I took several courses in materials. Professionally, I am involved with ASTM, ASM International, and TMS technical societies.

I also did course work in electrical and aerospace engineering, and I was studying physics before nuclear engineering.
 

1. What is the difference between heat treatable and non heat treatable materials?

Heat treatable materials are those that can be strengthened and hardened through a heating and cooling process, while non heat treatable materials cannot be significantly altered in this way.

2. What are some common examples of heat treatable materials?

Some common examples include steel, aluminum alloys, and titanium alloys.

3. How does the heat treatment process affect the properties of a material?

Heat treatment can change the microstructure of a material, making it stronger and more durable. It can also improve its resistance to corrosion and wear.

4. Can any material be heat treatable?

No, not all materials can be heat treatable. The ability to be heat treated depends on the chemical composition and structure of the material.

5. What are the advantages of using heat treatable materials?

Heat treatable materials allow for greater control over the properties of a material, making it possible to tailor it to specific applications. They also tend to have higher strength and wear resistance compared to non heat treatable materials.

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