Quenching is a step in the heat treatment of metals . The metal workpiece is heated and then suddenly cooled in water, oil or by blowing air on it. The effect of the quenching varies depending on the metal and alloy.
- Steel : With steel, a certain crystal structure ( martensite ) can form during quenching , which makes the steel hard, but also brittle . Process parameters such as temperature, quenching medium and duration of the treatment differ depending on the composition of the steel. See also Hardening_ (steel) # Transformation hardening .
- Non-ferrous metals : Non-ferrous alloys (especially age- hardenable aluminum alloys ) become softer and more malleable through quenching annealing (more precisely: homogenizing annealing ). Even copper , which by cold working has become hard and brittle, can be carried recreation glow ( recrystallization annealing ) followed by quenching back tough and at the same time free of scale get.