Heat Treating For Machine Shops

Providing heat treating services to machine shops is a core business feature of Metlab Heat Treating. The company has been working with hundreds of shops, both large and small, for many years. Types of heat treating services that are typically requested include:
•    Hardening and tempering
•    Case hardening (carburizing and hardening)
•    Nitriding
•    Stress relieving
•    Normalizing and annealing
Some machine shops also ask for heat treating 17-4 PH Stainless Steel to different hardness and mechanical properties, as well as aluminum and titanium.
Metlab is capable of treating parts from a few grams to 50,000 pounds. Mostly, the machine shop parts are smaller and can range up to several hundred pounds. Pickup and delivery services are provided once or twice a week, and travel as far west as Harrisburg and York, as far north as northern New Jersey and as far south as the I-95 corridor through Delaware and Baltimore.

Some projects may require sampling or testing. Metlab is able to run samples, mostly for size control. Additionally the company features a full service in-house metallographic laboratory and offers consulting services as well. If Metlab cannot do the metallographic and/or mechanical property testing in house, the company has partnered with some of the NADCAP certified laboratories in the area to provide testing that is required.
Examples of machine shop parts and processes:

Black oxide parts

Cold formed, stainless steel parts for black oxide.



Aluminum pieces which have been manufactured by stamping out of a sheet.

The Aluminum pieces were work hardened during the stamping process and were sent to Metlab to be put into Condition T-0 which is annealed or fully softened, so they can be bent and formed into brackets. After the forming operation, the parts were then heat treated to Condition T-6 which consists of solution treating and aging to increase core mechanical properties.

Featured Machine Shops:

J&LJ&L Precision Machine Co. is a precision job shop that specializes in OEM parts with very tight tolerances. A just-in-time (JIT) supplier to several international equipment manufacturers, J&L provides small assemblies or complete machine assemblies and testing. J&L has been working with Metlab for over 20 years and treats small quantities and various small parts.

J&L manager John Miga states, “We use Metlab for a lot of parts that require a black oxide finish. Over the years we have sent them production runs of 100 to 500 parts at a time for treating services. Some projects were as small as three parts for a military application.  Metlab also helps us to determine the best approach for fabricating some parts so they will meet specifications after the heat treating process.”


DHLEstablished in 1957 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, DHL has two facilities that total approximately 35,000 square feet and is equipped with all of today’s latest technologies. The company features CNC machining, turning, fabrication, inspection & assembly as well as several other services.

“Metlab does all of our heat treating and black oxide requirements.” comments Kevin Hoffman, Purchasing Director at DHL Machine. “We get a wide variety of parts that require all different types of heat treating processes (carburizing, nitriding, through hardening, induction hardening, stress relieving, etc.).  The parts also vary greatly in size from ones you can fit in your pocket to ones that are larger than a car and weigh several tons. We fabricate and machine parts for a large array of industries (printing press, Boeing test fixtures, railroad, steel mills, amusement parks, etc.), just to name a few.”

A core part of Metlab’s services is to provide consulting for manufacturing and to determining the correct hardness, finishing process and other manufacturability expertise. DHL utilizes this service to help with projects or processing in the shop. Hoffman elaborates, “Our drawings are already engineered but Metlab has informed us if certain specifications are unachievable and would then they would recommend either a different material or process to get a similar or identical end result. They also help us in determining how parts will react to the various heat treating processes so we know if any additional machining would be needed after heat treating.”

Working with machine shops continues to be a strategic focus for Metlab. Each week parts are arriving in Metlab’s extensive facility for a wide-range of treatments and processes. The experienced and highly trained personnel at Metlab, are focused on providing quality and meeting customer specifications along with timely delivery for each job that is processed.

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