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How Do Metal Services Process Metals?

When you think of metal processing, what do you think of? Most metals are available in stock forms, such as bars, sheet metal, and fittings. However, other metals, such as aluminum and steel, may come in smaller forms, such as tubes and pipes. Therefore, you might wish to search online for a “metal supplier near me” when you require high-quality metal items for your industrial purposes.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is a process for increasing the strength and flexibility of metals and other materials. The process also introduces wear-resistant properties into the part. Some metals, such as stainless steel, become weak in specific environments. Heat treatment is particularly effective at improving a metal’s electrical and magnetic properties and its compatibility with other materials. It is particularly useful for high-integrity applications, such as medical implants. 


Metal casting processes metals by forming a mold similar to the desired product shape. While a simple pattern is used to make a single casting, more complex designs are usually made with a two-part mold called drag and cope. Typically, cores are inserted into solid patterns to create hollow areas within the mold. Once the mold is complete, it is ready for further processing.


Utilizing tensile force, metal is stretched and molded during the metalworking process known as metal drawing. In order to provide exact tolerances, a superior grain structure, and surface quality, as well as improved material qualities, the procedure is often carried out coldly.


In many industries, annealing is required for a variety of metals. The process of annealing involves heating the material above its recrystallization temperature, maintaining it there for a predetermined amount of time, and allowing it to cool at a certain pace. It alters the metal’s properties to make it more malleable, reducing the risk of fracture or cracking. It is a valuable process for many industrial purposes, including welding, which can cause residual stresses. Moreover, annealing can increase the material’s electrical conductivity or magnetic properties.

Vacuum Plating

A method of physical vapor deposition (PVD), where a metal, such as aluminum or copper, is coated onto a non-metallic substrate by evaporation, is called vacuum metallization. Aluminum is the metal that is most frequently employed in vacuum metallization, but other metals, including copper, can also be deposited on surfaces. The metal particles are heated to a boiling point and deposited on the parts using a vacuum chamber. The resulting coating is useful in protecting the metal part and extending the life of cutting tools. However, the metal layer is often only a few atoms thick and can be difficult to remove.


The alloying element must be added to the base metal when hardening a metal. The alloy atoms in the base metal’s crystal lattice cause the metal to harden. The effectiveness of this process depends on the difference in size between the atoms of the solute and the solvent. If the solute atoms are larger than the solvent atom, they cause compressive and tensile strain fields, which distort the crystal lattice and result in rapid hardening. A typical example of this type of hardening is cementite in steel.