Heat treatment of bronze and copper alloy components

Heat treatment processes can be applied to copper and its alloys, to obtain homogenizations, relievings of residual stresses, solution annealings or precipitation hardening, through rearrangement, recrystallization and grain growth.

Annealing is performed on copper alloys to remove the work hardening due to possible mechanical processes, with the aim of improving the resistance to stress corrosion cracking of the items, to modify the creep resistance and tensile strength as a function of the grain size (fine grains increase the load capacity, fatigue resistance and resistance to stress corrosion cracking), or simply, increase its malleability to perform plastic deformation processes.

The typical treatment of the tubes and forks of the cupronickel heat exchangers, machined with a trufin profiling machine to increase the exchanging surface, which is then subjected to annealing. If required, it is also possible to perform heat treatments in an inert atmosphere, even at infinitesimal oxygen percentages.

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Trater collaborated on the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project, being the first to test the heat treatment on the prototypes of the superconductors of the reactor magnets (4 thousand Amperes, 2 Tesla), which lasted a month and was attended 24 hours a day, with tolerance on the temperatures of the soakings of less than 2°C on the component, in an inert atmosphere with an oxygen percentage lower than parts per billion, giving back the prototype of superconductor oxide-free to the customer, demonstrating the feasibility of the heat treatment.

Trater has 12 heat treatment ovens. All are qualified according to the ASTM A991/A991M standard and according to ISO 17663. For the performance of certain jobs, some are also qualified according to the API 6A, ISO 10423, GE P28D-AL-0001 or NORSOK M-650 standards. Trater workforce has more than 45 employees. The heart of the company is the technical office with 12 persons including specialists, engineers and quality workers.
A department of 9 people, divided into three shifts, who operate 24 hours a day, deals exclusively with the monitoring of thermal cycles. Unattended thermal cycles are not carried out. The staff, interacting with the automatic systems of the ovens, checks that the items reach the soaking temperature in all their parts and that this is maintained for the prescribed time. It is important that our customers can count on a structured and reliable supplier like Trater, which has personnel and means available to perform the thermal cycles in the best possible way, and always to supply correctly treated pieces, even in the case of particularly valuable components, during the processing. of critical components, monitored by third-party inspection bodies.
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