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"How to harden AL2024-T351?"


I am a mechanical engineer for a small aerospace company. I would like to find out a process as well as specification for hardening a section of an Aluminum 2024-T351 one-off part. Part is essentially a machined channel, 2 inch web, shaped in a 33" dia. ring with the flanges of the channel concentric to the ring centerline. Inside surface of outer flange needs to be hardened for use as a track for a cadmium plated chrome steel roller bearing.

1) Can only that surface be hardened, or must entire part be treated?

2) What process and specification can be use to do this?

3) Will process affect heat treat?

4) Any recommended shops? Input is greatly appreciated...

Rob Berger
- Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ed. note: Sorry, but we can't print answers to question 4 as that one veers out of the technical area into the commercial arena, and we can't ask the site's advertising sponsors to pay the cost of maintaining testimonials to their competitors. Our supporting advertisers will contact you in private regarding their capabilities.

"Properties of Aluminum Alloys: Tensile, Creep, and Fatigue Data at High and Low Temperatures"
by J. Gilbert Kaufman
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Well, I don't have the answer to your problem. But I do have a question for you. Why are you using 2024-T351? For aerospace usage, 2024-T3XX, -T4XX and -T6XX are usually forbidden tempers due to stress corrosion crack susceptibility. Consider using the 2024-T8XX or another alloy if possible.

Kirk Mueller
- El Segundo, California


In principle the 2024-T351 is already heat treated. If you still just want to harden a specific section then here are two tips:

1. Laser induction furnace - very expensive and works only with sheets

2. DC current - very difficult because you have to wrap the rest of the material with Teflon tape.

As a solution I would look at shot-peening, it is cheap and localised.

Dr C A Rodopoulos
University of Sheffield - Sheffield, UK

March 11, 2010

Contact Alcoa Alum; they are the experts in this field---

R Busse
- Tallmadge Ohio

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