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Glossary of Terms

Abrasive Wear:

Deeper compound zone (white layer): Gas Nitride

Adhesion Wear:

Shallow compound zone (white layer): Ion Nitride

Age/Precipitation Hardening:

Age Hardening (or Precipitation Hardening) Treatment is performed after solution treating of precipitation hardening (PH) grades of stainless steel. When PH stainless steels are heated between 900-1200ºF, secondary phase particles precipitate out of the previously formed solid solution. These particles serve as a strengthening and hardening mechanism.



Annealing is a treatment of steel by heating above the transformation temperature (varies from steel-to-steel), holding long enough for the necessary changes to occur, and then furnace cooling to room temperature using a controlled cooling rate. The steel is heated in order to produce enough energy to break bonds and diffuse atoms within the metal, allowing the material to reform and realign displacements. This process softens the metallic materials and is done to improve ductility and reduce brittleness. 



Advanced Heat Treat offers a wide variety of assembly operations. From simple machining processes to straightening applications, Advanced Heat Treat’s experienced staff has the skills to meet your value added needs.

Cleaning Applications:

Advanced Heat Treat offers a wide variety of cleaning operations including aluminum oxide blasting, alkaline washing, vibratory deburring, steel shot and ultrasonic cleaning.

Cold Treatment:

Cold Treatment is performed by exposing heat treated material to a subzero temperature, typically between -80ºF and -120ºF (we can’t go below about -100°F). This process reduces or eliminates the amount of retained austenite from the quenching process by transforming it to a martensitic state. Cold treatment results in increased strength, dimensional stability, and relief of stress.


Cryogenic Treatment is a process that strengthens and improves the mechanical properties of metal materials. The material is exposed to a subzero temperature, as cold as -300ºF, reducing the amount of retained austenite and transforming it to a martensitic state. Cryogenic treatment results in increased strength, dimensional stability, and relief of stress.


Duplex Hardening:

Duplex Hardening is a combination of heat treatments to blend benefits of individual treatments. Examples include Through Hardening and UltraGlow® Induction Hardening, Carburizing and UltraGlow® Induction Hardening, Thru Hardening and UltraGlow® Nitriding, UltraGlow® Induction Hardening and UltraGlow® Nitriding, and UltraGlow® Nitriding and PVD coating.

Failure Analysis:

Failure Analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing data and determining the original cause for failure. Advanced Heat Treat’s team of metallurgical and quality engineers have the capabilities to diagnose customer failures (whether they be part or surface treatment related) and provide expert feedback to suit its customers needs.

Ferritic Nitrocarburizing (FNC):

UltraGlow® Nitrocarburizing (Ferritic Nitrocarburizing) is a thermochemical treatment which involves the diffusional addition of both nitrogen and carbon to the surface of ferrous materials usually at temperatures not exceeding 1100°F. The primary objective of such processing is to improve the anti-scuffing characteristics of ferrous engineering components by producing a white layer (compound zone) at the surface of the part, which has excellent tribological properties. This process can be carried out in both ion or gas nitride systems.



The wearing away of the surface that can lead to parts being permanently stuck together.

Metallurgical Services & Consultation:

Advanced Heat Treat offers a wide variety of surface and core hardness testing, case depth determination, carbon content determination, failure analysis, consultation, microstructural analysis, salt spray testing and any other metallurgical lab services as needed.


Normalizing is the treatment of steel by heating above the transformation temperature, holding for a certain time, and then cooling to room temperature in still or slightly agitated air. This is done to remove processing stress and provide a more uniform structure.


Oxidation Treatment:

Advanced Heat Treat’s Oxidation Treatment can further improve the corrosion resistance properties attained by the nitriding cycle. This is a passivation process in which oxygen bonds with ferrous alloys at a low processing temperature. This process also produces an aesthetic, smooth black finish on the part.


Advanced Heat Treat offers state of the art polishing techniques at all of its facilities. AHT has the expertise to provide a part with a shine that speaks for itself.

Solution Annealing:

Solution Annealing is a process in which steel is heated above 1950°F and held at this rate, allowing the free carbides to go into solution. The metal is then cooled rapidly in order to prevent the carbon from coming out of solution. Solution annealing benefits result in a more corrosion resistant and formidable material.

Stress Relieve:

Stress relieve is a process using controlled heating and cooling to relieve machining or welding stress from large parts or weldments. Time and temperature relationships are developed based on prior hardness requirements or by the size and complexity of weldments. Stress relieving will minimize part distortion during subsequent heat treatment or while in service.



Tempering/Drawing is a softening process of ferrous alloys or metals. Typically, this procedure follows another form of heat treat process (i.e. UltraGlow® Induction Hardening, Carburizing, Carbonitriding, etc.) and brings the material back to its respective target hardness specification. This process allows the part to maintain its toughness, strength and ductility.