Induction Hardening 101: The Basics You Need to Know

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Induction Hardening 101: The Basics You Need to Know

Induction hardening doesn’t fit in anywhere in the industry of heat treatment – first of all, there is no giant furnace, the cycle times are completed in seconds, and the whole process happens right in front of your eyes and not behind the safety of a furnace chamber. 

For many heat treaters, there’s a single induction machine in the corner of the shop with just one operator who knows how to use it. Why is it still done then? In this post, Tricon Wear Solutions, your provider of the most durable wear plates, share the basics of induction hardening:

What Is Induction Hardening?

Induction hardening is a procedure that is used for hardening surfaces of steel or other alloy components. In this process, the parts that need to be heat-treated are positioned inside a water-cooled copper coil that is then heated above the transformation temperature through the application of alternating current to the coil. 

Induction hardening is often used for steel parts and copper alloys which are both treated and tempered, so they may be induction hardened, too. 

Why Is Induction Used?

There are several reasons induction is used for specific applications. Here are some of them: 

It  Can Perform  Selective Hardening

Induction lets you harden specific parts or portions instead of the entire component, which most furnace-based heat treatments offer. What this means is you can decide which particular portions you wish to harden and not worry about all the other components that don’t need hardening. 

It Can Improve Strength

Aside from hardening specific parts, the stress known as residual compressive stress induced into the part will then make it stronger. While other processes can perhaps match the improved wear resistance and the improved hardness, they’re unlikely to meet the strength that the induction-hardened part has.

It’s a Single Piece Flow

As mentioned, induction hardening isn’t a batch process because only one part is hardened at a time. That means the induction machine can be placed in its own manufacturing cell and not interrupt the process flow which cannot be said for other types of heat treatment. It’s perhaps one of the reasons even some metallurgists shy away from this process. In fact, when you ask some, they’d tell you they’ve heard of induction hardening but all they know is that there’s a coil and that’s all they know about it. 

Equipment and Tools

Induction Hardening Machine 

Systems vary, both in size and complexity and it mainly depends on the components that they need to harden. The main components of the machine include a power supply, a transformer or heat station, a workstation, and the HMI. 

The fluid system is made up of quenchants to cool the part that is being hardened and distilled water to cool the components inside the machine. Heat time, part rotation, power supply output, and quenchant parameters need to be controlled and monitored.

Power Supplies

These are the most important part of the induction hardener. Its two most important outputs are frequency and power. Frequency matters because it helps determine the depth of heating. Higher frequencies heat much closer to the surface while lower frequencies heat deeper.

Power is important because of the fact that it determines how large of a portion you can harden and how long it needs to be heated. The more power a machine can deliver the bigger the part it can harden. 

Coils

The copper conductor induction coil hardens the specific area of the portion and the current flowing through it is what creates the magnetic field that heats the part. Coils are part-specific because they have to be precisely constructed so they can heat a specific portion of the part.

Conclusion

The information you found in this article is just an introduction to the fundamentals of induction hardening. Similar to other forms of heat treatment, it could take many years to know everything about induction hardening and gain the skills necessary to perform this task. If you have a need for induction heating or other operations like fabrication and hardfacing welding, it’s better to entrust it with reputable professionals. 

Tricon Wear Solutions handles the production of any component or assembly. We perform induction hardening,  roll and press forming, fabrication, and hard facing, among others. Our metallurgical department can handle any task you might require. Contact us today to know more about our services!

Metal Fabrications and Industries That Benefit from It

When most people think about metal fabrication, they think of heavy machinery and industrial uses like mining and oil drilling. However, metal fabrication has many further applications, especially since it can serve a whopping five industries

Steel is in high demand among architects, engineers, and builders in a wide range of industries. Companies all across the world hire structural steel fabricators, resulting in a backlog of work. Thankfully, metal fabrication has been addressing these issues. 

Read on to discover more about metal fabrication and the handful of industries it serves.

The Automotive Industry 

Metal is essential in the automotive industry, especially in automobiles built to last a lifetime. However, vehicle repair shops require metal fabrication services as well. Repairing and refurbishing an automobile requires installing new metal components from the undercarriage to the external body.

These components typically necessitate exact specifications to fit into the vehicle’s current structure. This allows for substantial repairs to be made to the car itself, allowing automobiles that would have been totaled otherwise to be repaired. Metal fabricators may also recreate one-of-a-kind car components, saving time.

The Builders and Construction Industry

Metal is used to make stable structures, and some are entirely built of metal. Specific components are necessary to make an architectural masterpiece or merely a well-designed building. Metal fabrication allows you to get metal beams, supports, and sheets of the exact size, material, and quantity you need for your application.

Specific constructions are works of art themselves, demand precise construction techniques such as laser cutting. Metal fabrication can create intricate exterior parts such as the nuts and bolts that keep everything together.

Structural steel is used in almost every construction project, from tiny buildings and bridges to stadiums and skyscrapers. Additionally, steel beams and girders help through direct force applied to the foundation.

The Medical Industry

Aside from concerns concerning medical facilities, metal fabrication has the potential to benefit the medical industry. Metal is used in the construction of many medical devices and machines. Metal surgical instruments may be made to exacting specifications and bulk-ordered, ensuring that hospitals never run out of essential tools.

New medical advancements are made every day, such as new equipment, gear, and even robotic surgery. Metal fabrication can help the pioneers behind these developments by providing precision instruments.

The Transportation Industry

Transportation includes a wide range of forms of transportation, from semi-trucks to railways to international freight, and vehicle durability and performance are key factors to consider. Metal fabrication is crucial to the transportation industry’s productivity. It can help with storage container building and railroad maintenance.

Large quantities of items with unique designs and formats, such as railroad bolts, fasteners, spikes, and rails, can be produced using custom metal fabrication. If you need a container that isn’t the typical size, for instance, metal fabricators may create what you need to assist transportation.

The Landscaping Industry

Landscaping looks to have nothing to do with metal manufacture at first view. Metal, on the other hand, is employed in a range of crucial components of landscape design. Green screens, which are metal lattices to which climbing plants can cling, can improve the appearance of a landscape while also benefiting the plants. Plants can be protected from human disturbance by using fencing and railings.

Steel is used to build everything, such as small ferries, supertankers, staircases, ladders, flooring, and railing. Meanwhile, conveyors, trailer frames, heavy machinery, embeds, stair stringers, and skids are just a few industrial steel applications. 

Conclusion

Many fabricators are known to create pipe racks, pump jacks, and oil rigs, to mention a few more. Knowing such information about such a service comes as no surprise that metal fabrication is present across multiple industries. While it’s not looking to slow down any time soon, we’re anticipating an increase in demand for steel solar panel mounting options as well as steel transmission towers.

Are you looking for wear-resistant steel in Birmingham, AL? Tricon Wear Solutions is the industry’s leading supplier of wear components and technological expertise. We have been providing specialized fabrication, specialized processing, unique abrasion-resistant plate materials, and specialty steels since 1968. We are dedicated to assisting various industries, from pulp and paper mills to chemical and refining plants. Contact us today!

Why Wear Plates Are Important for Industrial Equipment

Mechanical assets in the industrial industry are quite costly. Therefore, it is understandable that business owners do their best to maintain and protect their equipment, especially their exposed parts. Whether you own your business equipment or you’re leasing them, you know how important it is to keep them in excellent running condition so as not to affect the productivity of the company. Also, you wouldn’t want to keep on repairing or replacing them because that can be expensive. 

The problem is that no matter how careful you might be in handling and using your equipment and machines, there will always be wear and tear over time. The mechanical parts that grind against each other, especially, will get damaged as years go by. When that happens, downtime cannot be avoided. 

It’s a good thing that there’s a way to protect those exposed parts of the machinery to reduce damages – and that is by using a chromium carbide wear plate. In this post, you will learn what a chromium carbide wear plate is and why it is essential for your industrial equipment:

What Are Wear Plates?

Wear plates, or abrasion resistant plates, as they are also called, are used to minimize wear and tear in surfaces that are exposed to excessive friction that eventually causes degradation of both sides or parts. These are often used for equipment parts that either rotate or slide when the machine is running. The plates are easy enough to install, efficient, and are definitely a cheaper solution than replacing the parts or getting them repaired. 

Some of the most common equipment that requires wear plates include casting equipment, crushers, shredders, as well as some mining tools, bucket scrapers, and more. 

Different Types of Wear Plates

Here are three types of wear plate materials that can be used for different purposes:

Wear Plates Made from Minerals

The hardness of the base material dictates what coating is required for it to function optimally. As you can expect, more rigid wear plates usually provide better wear resistance. Some examples of mineral coatings include wear plates that are made of chromium carbide, mild steel, Bennox, Grade 50b, CorTen, Roq Last, and others.

Made with Ceramic Liners

This particular wear plate material is used to lessen sliding abrasion as well as moderate and slightly heavy impact. This works because of the smooth surface of the ceramic that effectively reduces friction during the sliding process.

Low Friction UHMWPE

UHMWPE or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene is molded to sheet and rod shapes and then bolted into the machine as a plate. The plates are often used on gears, conveyor flights, canning lines, sprockets, skid plates, and other kinds of machines. It is often preferred for specific applications because it is non-stick, self-lubricating impact-, friction-, and chemical-resistant. 

Conclusion

Wear plates and liners are necessary for many applications where there’s friction between two parts or two materials and the plate’s hardness level and the liner’s intent. Know that the harder the plate, the longer it will last, but there are some drawbacks, too—also, note which parts require a softer material before you invest in a wear plate. 

When you need a durable chromium carbide wear plate or a custom solution, Tricon Wear Solutions can provide them for your business. We serve companies in Birmingham, AL, Chicago, IL, and Eiko, NV. Contact us today to know more about our wear components!

5 Reasons Why Hardox® Is Best for Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is the process of building machines and structures from raw materials. Therefore, using high-quality steel is essential in producing the best results. Hardox® wear plate is abrasion-resistant steel desired for its exceptional strength and durability.

Developed in 1974 by the Swedish steel company SSAB, the material is mainly used to fabricate metal components for a range of applications and industries—including agriculture, mining, construction, energy, and metalworking. Hardox® is superior to traditional steel plates in ensuring durability and long-lasting properties. But aside from the material’s quality, why is it a better option for modern metal fabrication?

1. Durability

Hardox® exhibits exceptional hardness and toughness. The material endures extreme pressure more common in heavy industrial environments. Because of its durability, it is better at absorbing impact and withstanding wear and abrasion without cracking, denting, bending, or warping.

2. Precision

If you’re looking for a good material to maintain and retain its shape even after getting exposed to harsh environments, then Hardox® is the material for you. It provides users with predictable and reliable performance while facilitating severely tight tolerances for thickness, flatness, and bending. 

3. Longevity

Hardox® is built for a lifetime—it was designed to bear heavy loads, reducing the pressure on other machine components and improving equipment performance. Using it on fabricated components relieves wear and tear on equipment. In effect, the equipment lasts longer than ten times the standard in some applications. It is also easy to repair and maintain, saving people time and money in the long run.

4. Efficiency

Hardox®, although a material that is built to last, is highly machinable. It is ideal for the creation of thin, light components which resist wear and abrasion. The material’s unique qualities ensure that it retains its shape, hardness, and durability while significantly reducing the overall weight of the equipment. In effect, pieces of equipment made out of Hardox® is easier to use because of being lightweight, making work more efficient.

5. Malleable

Again, despite being the leading material for metal fabrication due to its hardness and durability, Hardox® can be easily formed and finished than traditional plates. Processing metals has never been more accessible—even painting the sheets to match the coating of other pieces of equipment is a breeze.

The Future of Metal Fabrication

The industry is adapting and finding new ways to build support for the inherent variability of customer demands. As machinery becomes more complex and sophisticated, crafted equipment requires the ability to maintain capital and profit.

Although forecasting is challenging in a business, metal fabrication needs to keep pace with the changes and rapidly catch up with the demands of clients while still maintaining a high-quality capacity to maximize profits. Therefore, using the best materials, such as Hardox®, is a power move that every business can make to leverage themselves in the industry.

Conclusion

There are standard raw materials used in metal fabrication. Plate metals, fittings, castings, formed and expanded metals, sectional metals, flat metal, and welding wire are materials that are still in demand. However, Hardox® is a newer, fresher approach to crafting quality products people can trust.

Tricon Wear Solutions has become one of the world’s leading suppliers of custom fabrication, custom processing, propriety abrasion-resistant plate materials, and specialty steel. As a company, we are determined to continue providing a wide range of products to a wide range of industries. Visit our website to learn more about Hardox® steel and other products.

Screw Conveyor Considerations for Hot Applications

Many bulk handling industries generally use screw conveyors. It’s an efficient and reliable mechanism used to convey materials horizontally, at an incline or vertically. It’s also a handy device that can handle a wide range of challenging materials and applications. 

High-Temperature Applications of Screw Conveyors

Since screw conveyors are versatile and relatively simple to use, they can also manage high-temperature applications such as feeding lime to a kiln or removing ash from a boiler. However, there are factors to consider before using screw conveyors for high-temperature applications because some conveyors cannot handle extreme heat. If a poor quality conveyor is forced in extreme heat and improper management is applied, it can lead to premature failure of its structural and mechanical components, thermal expansion, and, worst, a delicate risk for workers. 

In this article, we have listed down some of the screw conveyor considerations before using it for high-temperature applications to ensure that the conveyor will successfully carry and transfer hot material for many years and avoid any incidents or failures. Read on for our tips!

1. Consider the Construction Material

While most conveyors’ screws and troughs are typically made of steel, it’s still crucial to look for the right steel that can handle high temperatures; not all steel alloys can last in extreme heat. If you don’t have the right steel exposed to high temperatures, the mechanical strength of your steel will be affected. The temperature will also affect the steel’s mechanical creep tendency, corrosion rate, and economic viability. 

2. Factor in the Steel’s Yield Strength

Although we’ve mentioned that screw conveyors can handle challenging materials and applications, it’s still best to consider the steel’s yield strength before using it for high-temperature applications. Make sure that the screw conveyor’s structural components are designed based on the steel’s yield strength; the steel’s yield strength decreases while the operating temperature increases. It’s recommended to use larger structural components instead since they can survive more when used in high temperatures. 

3. Choose Components That Can Accommodate Thermal Expansion

When choosing a screw conveyor for high-temperature applications, make sure to select components that can accommodate thermal expansion. If you’re not aware, the screw and trough of the screw conveyor will expand lengthwise when hot material enters. The thermal expansion will vary depending on the steel and trough’s material, the temperature change, and the conveyor’s length. Since the thermal expansion is immeasurable, the only thing you can do to ensure your screw conveyor will operate adequately is choosing components, particularly the conveyor supports, bearing, and material inlet and discharge correctly. Don’t forget about the thermal expansion when selecting screw conveyors for hot applications. 

4. Prioritize Safety

One of the most important things to consider when using a screw conveyor for hot applications is the safety of your workers. It’s important to note that temperatures above and below 200°F are already hazardous to workers. To avoid any incidents, install proper guarding around your conveyor and follow the best practices for maximum safety. 

Conclusion 

Screw conveyors can help industries move semi-solid materials and even high-temperature materials efficiently, productively, and quickly. However, before you apply screw conveyors in high temperatures, make sure to consider these factors first, as they will help operate the conveyor successfully and ensure your workers’ safety. 

If you are looking for a solutions provider to work with you to optimize your equipment’s service life, Tricon Wear Solutions is here! We are your source for wear-resistant steel products, including abrasion-resistant steel, wear plates, and more. We serve clients in Birmingham, Chicago, and Elko. Contact us today!

A Guide to Utilizing Reliable Equipment for Your Mining Business

If your business is part of the mining industry, you know that nothing compares to the challenges you face daily to keep up with your clients’ needs. A huge part of your operations involves ensuring you can watch over your expenses while obtaining high profits for your firm. 

Fortunately, you can accomplish your objectives if you have reliable mining equipment to help your employees do their jobs faster, easier, safer, and as you expect. When you provide them with the appropriate tools for mining, you can look forward to more productive solutions while avoiding unnecessary expenses and situations down the line.

For those who want to know why having the proper mining equipment matters, keep reading below to learn about it. It’s a great way to help increase your company’s chances of accomplishing mining tasks on time and satisfying your clients’ demands.

Reasons You Need Reliable Mining Equipment  

When you strive to use reliable mining tools and machines, you and your employees can rest assured that everything will go according to plan and your operations are safe and successful. Without the proper tools, people might face dangerous situations that could put their lives at risk. Your mining operations should involve letting your employees use reliable equipment because: 

It Guarantees People’s Safety 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the mining fatality rate back in 2019 was 10.5%, indicating that the cases were lower compared to previous years. That’s because thanks to modern technology, businesses acquired new and improved mining equipment that featured plenty of upgrades, allowing people to accomplish their responsibilities safely and appropriately at all times. 

It Brings in More Clients 

If you assure your clients that you work with reliable mining equipment to avoid affecting the quality of your services, you have more chances of taking on mining projects. In addition, you can operate at the lowest cost per ton to help you save spending on unnecessary expenses. You also come out better than your competitors because more people prefer you for your trustworthy solutions. 

It Improves Your Staff’s Morale

Your customers are not the only people who can benefit from your desire to incorporate reliable mining equipment to provide beneficial outcomes. Since your employees, who stand as the backbone of your company, are in charge of running the machinery and applying the necessary tools, it works to drive their morale. Reliable equipment guarantees their safety and productivity with each new mining project you accommodate. As a result, they have a less complicated time doing their duties and help keep their security intact. 

It Increases Productivity 

Performing your mining operations with the assistance of reliable equipment significantly helps increase your employees’ productivity on the site. It prevents delays and downtimes and in return, drives their work rate because the tools and machines aid with lessening their workload. Since they don’t have to take on tasks by figuring out what to do on their own and depending on human solutions, having reliable mining equipment can shorten the amount of time it takes to get the job done.  

Conclusion 

Above everything else, before you promise your clients you can take on the work and handle what they require from you, you should use reliable mining equipment to speed up the job. Not only that, but employing the proper equipment guarantees people’s safety, brings in more clients, improves your staff’s morale, and increases overall productivity to accomplish everything your business must do on time. 

Are you looking to purchase abrasion-resistant steel in Birmingham, AL, for your mining company? Tricon Wear Solutions offers specialty wear-resistant steel products and other components. Browse through our catalog to discover what you need!