Heat treatment of steel is normally a two stage process. For example, if a high carbon steel or silver steel screw driver blade has been manufactured, at some point it will have to be ‘’hardened’ to prevent it wearing down when used. On the other hand it will have to be ‘tempered’. This second heating process reduces the hardness a little but toughens the steel. It also significantly reduces the brittleness of the steel so that it does not break easily. The whole process is called ‘hardening and tempering’. techmat
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