Precipitation hardening, also known as age hardening, is a process that is applied to metal alloys to improve their mechanical properties, specifically their resilience and hardness. This process is based on the controlled formation of fine, dispersed particles within the crystalline structure of the material, which increases its resistance and stiffness without sacrificing resilience. Depending on the condition of the material supplied, a solution treatment must be performed beforehand.

Processes Details

At our facility, we perform these processes in a vacuum environment and use inert atmosphere cooling to prevent surface oxidation of steels, titanium and nickel and exotic base materials. The process consists of various stages:

  1. Solution treatment is mainly applied to metal alloys containing alloy elements that are not completely soluble in the solid phase. The process involves heating the material to a high temperature to allow the complete dissolution of the alloy elements in the metal matrix. Then, rapid cooling is performed to keep the elements in solid solution, thus avoiding the formation of unwanted phases and improving the strength and hardness properties of the material. If the part has been machined in a previous state of the solution, then the ageing process begins.
  2. In ageing the piece is subjected to a treatment that involves heating it to a lower temperature for a prolonged time. During this stage, the alloy elements begin to form fine and dispersed particles in the crystalline structure, which increases the strength and hardness of the material.

TTT Group holds the corresponding aeronautical certifications, which ensures the application of these processes with the highest quality standards in aeronautical applications and in other sectors of the industry.

Parts and Components

It is commonly applied in aluminium alloys, copper, nickel and some stainless steels, finding wide use in various industries. It is particularly noteworthy in aeronautics and aerospace, where it is used to manufacture structural components of aircraft and rockets, such as wings, fuselages, and engine parts. It is also used in the automotive industry to create high-performance parts in engines, chassis, and transmissions, as well as in the manufacture of industrial machinery to produce gears and bearings.

Other sectors that benefit from this treatment include the naval, electronics and military industries, which require strength, durability and corrosion resistance in their parts and components.

To enhance corrosion resistance and increase hardness it is very normal for the parts to undergo subsequent surface treatments such as Hard Chrome or HVOF.

Fields of Application

Precipitation or Ageing hardening is common in sectors where a balance between mechanical strength and weight is required, as well as good corrosion resistance. Therefore, it is widely used in the previously mentioned industries: Aeronautical, automotive, naval, electronics, military, and machinery manufacturing.

Envejecimiento en Aeronáutica