Annealing is defined as the heating of a steel product to a suitable temperature known as the austenite phase. Once the steel section has reached this temperature it is then cooled down slowly in a closed /controlled environment.
Steel Tubes can be annealed for the following reasons:
• To reduce hardness and brittleness
• To soften the steel for improved machinability or formability
• To reduce internal stresses created by prior processes
• To produce the desired mechanical or physical properties by altering the microstructure of the steel section
• To restore ductility to enable further cold working of steel.
In the South African steel manufacturing industry steel tubes and welded hollow sections are commonly annealed to increase machinability.
Some industries require steel tubes to be drawn from a standard sized tube to their desired design. The drawing of the steel tube compresses the material which results in the tube to become brittle and hard. The drawn tube then has to be worked on a milling machine or lathe. The steel tube is then required to be annealed in order to change its microstructure and hardness, enabling easier machinability.
Tubecon has the capability to draw these special sized steel tubes and assist our customers with annealing options.