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PRECIPITATION HARDENING (Heat Treatment for Non-Ferrous) (stainless steel) Objective : To create in heat-treated alloy a dense and fine

dispersion of precipitated particle in matrix of deformable metal.


Strength and hardness improved due to small particles of new phase formed within original phase Three basic steps strengthening/hardening of precipitationThe precipitation particles act as obstacle to dislocation movement and thereby strengthen the heat-treated alloy.

1. Solution Heat Treatment: solute atoms dissolved to form single phase. 2. Then rapidly cooled (quenching) to non-equilibrium position of supersaturation 3. Aging (Precipitation Heat Treating): intermediate temperature allows diffusion of

supersaturated atoms, forming fine dispersed particles of second phase. Example an alloy system.

Aging :

The effect aging time on the strength and hardness Aging curve

Example Al-Cu alloy Precipitation of an Al-4% Cu alloy o 1. Solution heat treatment. Heated on 515 C, solutionizing 2. Quenching. Rapidly cooled to room temperature. Supersaturated solid solution high energy. 3. Aging. Heated between 130oC-190oC
GP1 zone. Formed at lower temperature.Cu atoms segregating in supersaturated solid solution of Al-Cu alloy. Low Cu contents. GP2 zone ( " zone). As aging time is increased, the copper contents of the zones increase, as well as their size. . Overaging. This phase nucleates heterogeneously on dislocation and is incoherent with the matrix. . The equilibrium phase is coherent and has composition CuAl2.