3 Stress Relief Methods For Aluminum Alloys
Aluminum is a popular metal used in the manufacturing and industrial sectors today. This popularity can be attributed to the fact that aluminum is a very durable and versatile metal. Aluminum alloys offer manufacturers the opportunity to create lightweight and corrosion-resistant components. In order for aluminum parts to be as durable as possible, they must be treated to reduce stress. An understanding of the stress relief methods used for aluminum alloys will help modern manufacturers better prepare their metal parts for the market.
1. Heat Treatments
Heat treatments are some of the most popular stress relief processes used by manufacturers. Heat treatments help to make aluminum components less brittle, giving them increased tensile strength. The metal alloys can be heated in specialized ovens for a number of hours, then cooled slowly to allow the internal molecular formation of the component to change.
Some heat treatment processes utilize a super-heated solution that is used to bathe aluminum alloys. The alloys are then cooled extremely quickly to force a change in the molecular structure. Both types of heat treatments can be beneficial in increasing the lifespan of aluminum alloys.
Vibrational stress relief is another option available to manufacturers. This type of stress relief treatment is used primarily to alleviate stress in aluminum alloys that have been forged or welded. Heating these components could alter their dimensions and design, rendering each component useless.
Vibratory stress relief requires that an aluminum alloy be flexed at a specific amplitude. The flexing process helps to combine any residual stress with the induced stress to create a more plastic flow. The plastic flow then relieves the stress entirely, leaving the aluminum alloy components ready to withstand heavy workloads with ease.
Cryogenic treatments are essentially the opposite of heat treatments. Aluminum alloy components are placed in a vat of liquid nitrogen during a cryogenic treatment. The liquid nitrogen cools the aluminum alloys to an extreme negative temperature. The components are then removed from the liquid nitrogen and slowly brought back up to room temperature.
Cryogenic stress relief has been proven to make aluminum alloy components less susceptible to distortion over time. The wear and corrosion-resistance properties of the aluminum alloys are also enhanced following a cryogenic stress relief treatment.
Identifying potential stress relief treatments will help you better prepare your aluminum alloy components to perform in extreme conditions. This will elevate the quality and durability of your manufactured products over time. Reach out to a professional for more information about aluminum.