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MT 305 Heat Treatment

Annealing and Normalizing

• ANNEALING is a generic term denoting a treatment that consists of
heating to and holding at a suitable temperature followed by cooling at an
appropriate rate, primarily for the softening of metallic materials.

• Steels may be annealed to facilitate cold working or machining, to improve

mechanical or electrical properties, or to promote dimensional stability.

• Purpose:
– Homogenization of the segregated structures
– Softening of the deformed material: recovery and recrystallization
– Softening of the chilled grey cast iron: dissociation of the cementite
– Reducing internal stresses in cast, welded, or deformed structures
– Softening and/or grain refinement of quenched, cast or deformed
Annealing of steels and other non-ferrous alloys
• Phase transformation occurs during annealing

• Cooling rate in important

– Annealing treatments of steels have been classified according to
cooling rates.

• Types of Annealing
– Full annealing (Supercritical) : Above 50 K above A3 for hypo-
eutectoid, and A1 for hyper-eutectoid
– Partial annealing : between A1 and A3, pearlite get dissolved
– Spheroidizing Anneal
– Isothermal Annealing
– Normalizing
Full Annealing

Austenitizing temperature for full annealing and normalizing.

Full Annealing

Cooling curves during annealing and normalizing in relation to CCT diagram of

a hypo-eutectoid steel.
Full Annealing
• Most of the transformation at low undercooling
– Coarse ferrite-pearlite structure
– 200K/hr

• Alloyed steel
– Even slower cooling rate ~ 30-100 K/hr

• Purpose:
– To soften the steel before machining
– To relieve internal stress
– To grain-refine the cast or hot worked steel
– To eliminate certain microstructural defect formed during casting,
welding, hot working etc.
Full Annealing

Microstructure of (a) as-cast hypo-eutectoid steel, (b) the same steel after full
• Double Annealing is done to achieve compositional homogenization and
remove effect of texture, followed by full annealing
Spheroidizing Anneal

Microstructure of a hyper-eutectoid steel after spheroidizing anneal

• Final microstructure consists of spheroidal cementite in pearlite matrix
Spheroidizing Anneal

Effect of austenitizing temperature and cooling rate on the hardness of a

hyper-eutectoid steel after spheroidizing anneal.
• Higher cooling rate : more pearlite and finer pearlite
Isothermal Annealing

Schematic illustration of isothermal annealing process

• Same as full annealing, Better Control, uniform pearlite, better hardness

Effect of full annealing and normalizing on the transformation range and

volume fraction of cementite on a hyper-eutectoid steel
• Often used as an intermediate step to obtain finer structure
• Less time and cost than full annealing
• Plain low-carbon steel normalizing is preferred : gives same results
• High-carbon steel and allow steel : higher undercooling

Transformation temperature range during full annealing and normalizing in

(a) low-carbon steel, (b) alloy steel

Effect of normalizing on the grain structure in steels, (a) structure of as-rolled

steel, (b) same steel after normalizing
• Hyper eutectoid steel : less volume fraction of pro-eutectoid cementite
• Microstructure banding C-Mn steel
• Quench hardening treatment
Process Annealing

The iron-carbon binary phase diagram showing region of temperature for

process annealing