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Advantages of Induction Heating

Induction heating methods applied to the hardening of steel parts offer many advantages. Naturally, much depends on the shape of the part and the type of hardening being carried out. In general, however, the following summary will apply broadly to induction heating, and will show some of the possible considerations for the induction hardening of parts where induction heating can be applied:

  • A low operating cost is possible using induction heating equipment as a result of localized heating, especially when compared to parts that have to be heated throughout by other treatments.
  • A substantial reduction in heating time for a given surface is achieved, with the result that an increased output is possible using induction heating equipment over other methods.
  • Induction heating equipment produces uniform results after a time cycle has been established, so that rejections are reduced to a minimum, or entirely eliminated.
  • The possible elimination of some subsequent manufacturing operations, and often the reduction of preceding operations, such as cleaning and straightening often are unnecessary when using induction heating.
  • The use of higher carbon steels for case hardening with induction heating instead of low-carbon steels that require carburizing.
  • Induction heating equipment allows the substitution of plain carbon steels for alloy steels. This offers great possibilities and will have a positive effect for reducing material costs.
  • Induction heating equipment allows selectively hardening of an area to a depth of hardness that can be minutely controlled.
  • Rapid heating with induction heating equipment and surface quenching causes the inner surface to remain relatively cool and the metallurgy undisturbed.
  • Since induction heating is applied to the work’s surface exceptionally fast, there’s usually no time for oxidation to take place and only a slight discoloration of the surface results.
  • Normalizing and tempering operations for parts that are hardened with induction heating equipment are often eliminated, especially where a spray quench is used.
  • Because carbon is brought into the solution at an exceptionally fast rate with induction heating, the hardening ability of many carbon steels is increased.
  • The rapid heating and quenching made possible by the induction heating method results in a finer grain structure than that ordinarily obtained by other methods.
  • Induction heating equipment permits machining operations to be carried out on surfaces adjacent to those hardened after hardening has been completed.
  • Skilled operators will not be required when using induction heating equipment, especially where automatic control of heating and quenching is used, resulting in precision repetition of hardened areas.
  • The induction heating process provides a gradient transition zone from the hard surface to the ductile core and is obtained so that fracture or breaking out of the hardened area cannot occur, even as a result of deflection.
  • An induction hardened surface can usually be finished with a higher degree of smoothness by grinding or boring, as a result of the improved surface-grain structure that results from induction heating.
  • Induction heating equipment can be installed with other machinery in line production, since its operation is cleaner than other heat treating units.
  • Cleaner operation conditions exist with induction heating equipment installations.
  • With induction heating equipment, different degrees of hardness can be obtained with a single work piece, which is sometimes difficult or impossible to achieve by other methods.
  • Induction heating equipment opens up new possibilities in product design.