Although strictly speaking we are not a Heat Treater and do not have quench capabilities, we often perform certain heat treating processes and the thermal process of brazing can alter material properties.
Annealing for example is used to stress relieve machined components before their final machining operations. Here it can be very important to stress relieve your components before brazing otherwise they may warp during brazing and cause vacuum leaks (ask Altair Engineering if this is something your design needs to consider).
It is also important to understand that once your components have been brazed, they may end up in an annealed state that can’t be reversed. In the case of Copper, the braze operation will “soften” or weaken its tensile strength and only work hardening can return it to its original strength. In the case of Stainless Steel, after brazing it will be annealed and subsequent heat treating will not return it to its original state.
By controlling our furnace environments we can also create a passivated surface on certain components to resist oxidation/rust.
We also decarburize certain metals by using wet hydrogen at elevated temperatures to critically eliminate the presence of carbonaceous materials on the surface of parts. This is a mature process that has proven to be successful for customers who require this level of purity of their components.
Like decarburizing, clean firing is used to remove unwanted water vapor, oxides, hydro-carbons, or hydrogen from base materials. We also commonly clean fire plated metals in order to determine of the plating quality is suitable for leak-tight high vacuum application.