In-House Heat Treating

The advantage of having all in-house heat treating and forging capabilities allows BEST complete quality control over our products and services. Most other manufacturers have to depend on outside sources, which not only affects quality but delivery schedules as well. BEST offers the following in-house Heat Treating processes to provide the highest level of quality and service possible.
BEST operates a Molten Salt Bath onsite for tempering the sharp edge of your Forged Cutting dies. This heat treating process allows us to achieve a consistent hardness on the cutting edge of the die, while also allowing our customers to easily work with the back-half of the die when needed. Due to the fact that salt can attain very high temperatures (> 700° C), and also because it displays remarkably uniform heat transfer characteristics, molten salt heat treatment is considered to be the best choice in hardening Forged Cutting dies. This process allows for only the sharp edge to be hardened and tempered for cutting purposes (we dip the die 1/3rd of the way into the molten salt bath – refer to pictures below), at the same time keeping the back part of the die untreated. The reason we want the back of the die untreated is to allow for features like mounting holes, air holes, etc. to be added /changed later on at any time throughout the life of the die, without affecting the integrity of the hardened sharp edge. Using Pre-Hardened steel is a less expensive and simpler manufacturing option, but in our experience dies that are through hardened are more susceptible to cracking and it is also difficult to make changes to the back side of the dies.
The capability of having all in-house inspection, testing and vacuum heat treating equipment enables BEST to have complete quality control of the parts we manufacture that are not Hand Forged. The success of this program has prompted the recent installation of additional, larger capacity vacuum heat treating equipment. With the advent of larger diameter roll work in the rotary die industry, BEST now offers heat treating capability for virtually all of the new materials and sizes, insuring uniform hardness and minimum part distortion.
In addition to vacuum heat treating, new state-of-the-art cryogenic chilling chambers have been installed with the capability of subzero treatment to -300° F. This procedure follows heat treating and is used to stabilize the material to increase the life of the dies.
Induction hardening is a heat treatment process that enhances the mechanical properties in a specific area of the steel component. The resultant hardened area improves the wear and fatigue resistances along with strength characteristics. Fatigue strength is increased by the development of a soft core surrounded by an extremely tough outer layer. These properties are desirable for shaft journals and other parts that experience torsional loading and surfaces that experience impact forces. Induction processing is performed one part at a time allowing for very predictable dimensional movement from part to part.