Heat treatment of metal
Precision CNC machining parts The generally accepted definition for heat treating metals and metal alloys is “heating and cooling a solid metal or alloy in a way so as to obtain specific conditions or properties.” Heating for the sole purpose of hot working (as in forging operations) is excluded from this definition．Likewise，the types of heat treatment that are sometimes used for products such as glass or plastics are also excluded from coverage by this definition．
Precision CNC machining parts The basis for heat treatment is the time-temperature-transformation curves or TTT curves where，in a single diagram all the three parameters are plotted．Because of the shape of the curves，they are also sometimes called C-curves or S-curves．
To plot TTT curves，the particular steel is held at a given temperature and the structure is examined at predetermined intervals to record the amount of transformation taken place．It is known that the eutectoid steel (T80) under equilibrium conditions contains，all austenite above 723℃，whereas below，it is the pearlite．To form pearlite，the carbon atoms should diffuse to form cementite．The diffusion being a rate process，would require sufficient time for complete transformation of austenite to pearlite．From different samples，it is possible to note the amount of the transformation taking place at any temperature．These points are then plotted on a graph with time and temperature as the axes．Through these points，transformation curves can be plotted as shown in Fig.1 for eutectoid steel． Precision CNC machining parts The curve at extreme left represents the time required for the transformation of austenite to pearlite to start at any given temperature．Similarly，the curve at extreme right represents the time required for completing the transformation．Between the two curves are the points representing partial transformation. The horizontal lines Ms and Mf represent the start and finish of martensitic transformation.