Explosive Metal Hardening Process

The Hermetic Solution Group’s Bonded Metals Division (formally known as Northwest Technical Industries (NTI)) uses an explosive shock hardening metal working technique to generate a work-hardened surface on a fabricated metal part. This process produces similar results achieved through peen hardening.

During the hardening operation, explosive materials are applied directly to the metallic surface to be hardened and are detonated, driving the resultant forces into the metal surface. The operation, essentially cold, works the metal surface and hardening can be induced up to 1/4″ deep.

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Explosive Shock Hardening Applications

The most common application of explosive shock hardening is to cast high-manganese steel rail frogs and switchings. Explosive shock hardened Hadfield’s steel and modified Hadfield’s alloys has been used in mining and excavating applications as well. Limited research has implied that rhenium can also be hardened through explosive shock hardening.
  • Hardening effects deepen and increase through subsequent applications of the explosive-hardening process. This effect begins to taper off significantly after four applications of the process.
  • Hardness values in cast manganese steel components have shown hardness increases of 230 Bhn in depths to 1/4″.
  • Metallurgical analysis of shock hardened Hadfield’s steel and high-manganese steel show martensitic transformation in the hardened zone.
  • There are essentially no size or configuration limits to the application of explosive shock hardening process.