The improvement of S355 steel through heat treatment

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Did you know that S355 steel is the perfect material for welding? Due in part to this characteristic, S355 steel is widely used as a foundation for end products. This particularly pertains to pipelines and frames, but also to wind turbines and tanks. Want to learn more about this versatile material that can be used for many products? Read on quickly.

Which end products are made from S355 steel?

As already mentioned, S355 steel is very versatile. You can recognize S355 in end products such as:

  • Building structures: Such as high-rise buildings, industrial sheds, and warehouses.
  • Bridges: Both large and small, including footbridges and highway overpasses.
  • Tanks: For storing various materials or liquids.
  • Pipelines: Especially those that require strength and durability.
  • Machinery parts: Where strength and durability are required.
  • Frames: For various structures and equipment.
  • Transportation vehicles: Such as truck chassis and railcar components.
  • Wind turbine towers: S355 steel is used in the renewable energy sector because of its strength and resilience.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives an idea of the versatility of S355 steel in various applications.

Heat treatment of S355 steel: what are the possibilities?

Although it is strong on its own, it is naturally possible that you might want to enhance the mechanical properties of S355 steel. Should this be the goal, heat treatment is recommended. Each type of heat treatment results in a different outcome. S355 steel is a low-carbon, high-strength structural steel. While it is not typically subjected to many heat treatments that high carbon steels undergo, some heat treatments are still possible and can be beneficial, depending on the intended application. Here are some potential heat treatments for S355 steel:

Normalizing: This involves heating the steel to a temperature above its critical point and then allowing it to air cool. Normalizing can help refine the grain structure and improve toughness.

Stress Relieving: After welding or machining, S355 steel might have residual stresses. A stress-relieving heat treatment can reduce these stresses, minimizing the risk of distortion or cracking in subsequent operations or service.

Annealing: This involves heating the steel to a suitable temperature, holding it for a certain time, and then cooling it slowly. Annealing can improve ductility and reduce hardness, making the steel easier to machine or form.

Tempering: If for some reason S355 steel is hardened (which is uncommon due to its low carbon content), it might need to be tempered. Tempering involves reheating the hardened steel to a specific temperature below the critical point and then cooling it, usually in still air. This process improves the steel’s toughness.

Solution Annealing: In cases where the steel has alloying elements that can form secondary phases or precipitates, solution annealing might be used. This process involves heating the steel to a temperature where these secondary phases dissolve and then rapidly cooling it to keep them in solution.

Age Hardening or Precipitation Hardening: This is more relevant for certain alloy steels, but in specific contexts, S355 might be subjected to a process where it is heated to a temperature that allows certain elements to precipitate out, strengthening the steel.

It’s important to note that while these heat treatments are possible, not all of them are typically applied to S355 steel. The decision to use a specific heat treatment depends on the final application of the steel and the desired properties. As always, consultation with a metallurgist or material scientist is essential when determining appropriate heat treatments.

Delta Heat Services: the specialist in heat treatments in the Netherlands

Do you want to guarantee that the heat treatment process of S355 steel is going well? Or perhaps you’ve had some bad experiences in the past? Don’t hesitate and reach out to Delta Heat Services. Our heat treatment experts can provide you with all the necessary advice.

In addition to that, you can also purchase or rent the required equipment from us. Please fill in our contact form and get personal advice about preheating S355 steel or another piece that needs a heat treatment.

It’s possible to buy or rent the equipment of Delta Heat Services. Would you like to know more about the different heat treatments of alloys? Or other metal pieces? Or do you want to request a quote or do you have another question? Please feel free to contact us without obligation.

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