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Heating to and holding at a suitable temperature and then cooling at a suitable rate, for such purposes as reducing hardness, improving machine ability, facilitating cold working, producing a desire, micro structure, or obtaining desired mechanical , physical, or other properties. When applicable, the following more specific terms should be used: black annealing, blue annealing, box annealing, bright annealing, flame annealing, graphitizing, intermediate annealing, isothermal annealing, malleablizing, process annealing, quench annealing, recrystallizing annealing and spheroidizing. When applied to ferrous alloys, the term “ annealing “ , without qualification, implies full annealing. when applied to non ferrous alloys, the term “annealing” implies a heat treatment designed to soften a cold worked structure by recrystallizing or subsequent grain growth or to soften an age-harden alloy by causing a nearly complete precipitation of the second phase in relatively course form. Any process or annealing will usually reduce stresses , but if the treatment is applied the sole purpose of such relief, it should be designated stress relieving.

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