Normalizing is a heat treatment process which is used to make metal, such as steel, more ductile and tough. Thermal and mechanical hardening processes decrease ductility and increase hardness of steel parts. Therefore, normalizing can reform the microstructure into more ductile structures. This reduces the residual stress of the workpiece. Further, normalizing makes the steel more formable and machinable.
The properties of metal are highly dependent on the chemical composition. However, even if the steel grades are the same, the manufacturing process does have a major influence on the characteristics of steel, as well. Prefabricated steel products can be finished by different processes, such as cold and hot rolling.
Carbon steels are steel grades with a carbon content of up to 2.1% by weight. Carbon steel does not contain any minimum amount of other alloying elements, such as chromium, cobalt, molybdenum or tungsten. Nonetheless, it often contains manganese. However, the maximum amount of manganese in the metal should not exceed 1.65% by weight. Further, the amount of silicon and copper should be less than 0.6% by weight.
With the rise of the carbon amount in the steel, the hardness of the workpiece increases. However, the weldability and ductility reduces with higher carbon content.