A Guide to Metal Hardening and De-Embrittlement

Hard AnodisingDe-embrittlement is the process of hardening metal, specifically hydrogen-susceptible metals that have been unintentionally introduced to hydrogen. This exposure to hydrogen makes the metal brittle and fracture; a disaster for high strength steel and other construction metals. Discover our guide to de-embrittlement and gain a better understanding of it:

Why does the metal become brittle?

During metal finishing processes including cleaning, electroplating and heat treatments, hydrogen can be accidentally diffused into it. The more stress put on the metal in addition to the strength of the material, can cause it to be more susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement.

The de-embrittlement process

This metal hardening process is administered after the metal is subjected to an electroplating service and should be carried out as soon as possible – no longer than 3 hours afterwards. De-embrittlement is usually ran at between 220 and 240 degrees centigrade and can last around 4 hours.

Which metals are susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement?

A study by MIT found that metals with certain arrangements of grain boundaries between microscopic crystals, which is where the cracks start, are more or less likely to crack. They concluded that one type of boundary, a coherent twin boundary, plays a vital role in fracture.

Do you need de-embrittlement?

De-embrittlement is absolutely necessary when removing hydrogen from metal and the inconveniences and dangers involved with failing to do it are very significant. Our hydrogen de-embrittlement service can be administered with a fast turn around and a drop off and delivery service. No quantity is too small and we are BSI accredited, so you can trust our metal hardening service will do the job.

If you require metal hardening, metal finishing, or electroplating services, call us on 01202 677 939, or fill out our online contact form for a no obligation same day quote.

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