Heat treatment of metals
What is it for?
Air Liquide, an expert in heat treatment and surface treatments, offers you a complete range of gas and distribution facilities to optimize your productivity while adopting solutions that are sustainable.
Metal parts, primarily steel and other alloys, undergo multiple heat treatment cycles to improve surface mechanical and structural properties. Our extensive research and knowledge, along with our technical expertise, makes us the best at competitive gas solutions.
Heat treatment process under controlled atmosphere
The risk of oxidation and decarburization (for carbon steels) is high in the heat treatment process. It is used to modify the surface properties, structure and metallurgical phases of metals, steel and alloys such as copper.
An inert gas, such as nitrogen, is used with active gases such as natural gas, hydrogen, cracked methanol, or propane to maintain a controlled gas atmosphere. At Air Liquide, we focus on developing the controlled atmosphere or metal interaction to help our customers experience the proper heat treatment application. These solutions include:
- defining ad-hoc atmosphere as per each industrial case,
- study and implementation of an industrial solution,
- supply of gases and gas mixtures,
- continuous supervision solutions for furnace atmosphere,
- operational advice and assistance.
The ALNAT™ range of metal heat treatment solutions helps in enhancing the metallurgical and/or mechanical properties of materials and components. It ensures a controlled atmosphere for your various applications’ safety, efficiency, and reliability.
Gas used for Heat Treatment
Gas Applications: Change the Properties of a metal
AnnealingMaterials such as non-ferrous materials, carbon steels and stainless steels are annealed to provide a high-quality finish with a bright surface.
Carburizing & Carbon NitridingAir Liquide helps to provide gases and injection systems to ensure the quality of parts by obtaining a controlled gaseous atmosphere. Our ALNAT™ solution provides an active and reproducible heat treatment under nitrogen and methanol.
Gas QuenchingIt involves the cooling of temperature quickly to attain strength for metals and harden them. At Air Liquide, we enable this process to eliminate residue and unwanted by-products. It can be performed using a gas such as argon, nitrogen, helium or hydrogen. Our ALNAT™ HP solution does not require a gas compressor and ensures a higher level of availability for your furnace.
Gas Applications: Manufacturing of new products
Argon Oxygen Decarburization (AOD)For AOD, we supply industrial gases and related equipment and services to steel manufacturers. We supply gases through the pipeline, bulk deliveries, cylinders, and on-site production units operated by Air Liquide.
Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) MakingWe provide oxy-combustion technologies such as oxy-fuel burners, oxygen lances and low-velocity oxygen injection technology to maximize the productivity of electric arc furnaces at steel mills.
Primary SmeltingThis requires high oxygen levels. The heat losses are reduced by reducing the nitrogen content of the off-gas. This, in turn, increases the reaction temperature and rate.
Melting and CastingWe supply a range of industrial gases for casting applications and clean melting processes. SPAL is our technology family of patented inert blanketing processes.