Annealing is a heat treatment process for glass and soft metals that reduces hardness, increases ductility and helps eliminate internal stresses. An annealing oven—also called an annealing furnace—heats materials to a specified temperature and then cools it at a very slow rate.
Generally, the purpose of annealing treatment is to soften steel or glass, regenerate overheated steel or remove internal tension. The most popular type of heat treatment, annealing glass or metal makes the materials more resilient, purifies and improves workability. An annealing glass furnace applies high heat to alter the microstructure of a material and change its mechanical or electrical properties.
First, an annealing oven heats glass to relieve internal stresses without causing deformation. The glass remains in the high-temperature environment until its temperature is even throughout. Next, the glass cools, which requires an annealing glass furnace with optimal temperature accuracy and control. Once cool, the glass is safe to cut, polish and drill.
The annealing process for metal is called metallurgy annealing. Like annealing glass, the process of annealing metal materials provides strength to ensure ductility or flexibility. Ductility allows metal to be heated and manipulated without breaking, followed by slow cooling.
Metal and glass annealing should be conducted in a controlled laboratory environment with the right tools, annealing furnace and an understanding of the annealing process.
The annealing process involves three stages:
Many industries leverage the annealing process for annealing glass and soft metals such as steel, copper, silver and brass. An annealing oven or furnace is commonly used by players in the following industries:
Our glass annealing ovens offer high temperatures with accurate temperature control. Browse our list of glass annealing furnaces below.
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