We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Involved in Stress Relieving Steel?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Stress relieving steel is a heat treatment process that involves subjecting a steel workpiece or part to a specific temperature for a particular amount of time. The temperature at which stress relieving takes place is determined by the transformation temperature, which can be a different figure for various steel alloys. Each steel workpiece can also require a different amount of time, as the entire part must be allowed to reach the stress relieving temperature. After the desired temperature has been reached, the workpiece can be removed and allowed to cool down. This process typically takes place after machining, and it is meant to remove internal stresses from the steel.

Steel is an iron alloy that can contain varying amounts of carbon, though other metals such as manganese and tungsten can also be used. This metal alloy is very strong and resilient, but machining it can introduce undesired stresses into the physical structure of a part. Stress relieving steel is one way to deal with this situation, and machined steel parts may warp or crack during use if this type of action is not taken. This process can relieve over 90% the internal stress within steel, and is particularly useful for large cast or welded parts, in addition to workpieces from which a lot of material was removed during machining.

The general process for stress relieving steel is the same for all different alloys, though the specifics of the procedure can differ. This process involves introducing heat to steel parts after the machining process, the exact temperature of which depends on the alloy in question. In general, the stress relieving temperature is around 75° C (170° F) less than the transformation temperature steel. Since steel typically has a transformation temperature of about 730° C (1340° F), the correct temperature for stress relieving steel is roughly 655° C (1170° F). Alloys that make use of other metals, or significantly different carbon levels, typically have higher transformation temperatures, so stress relieving those types of steel often requires more heat.

After a machined steel workpiece has been subjected to the stress relieving temperature, it has to be left there until the part has heated up all the way through. At that point, the part can be removed from the heat, and the final step of stress relieving steel is to allow the workpiece to cool down. There is no quenching involved in this part of the process, and the parts are typically left to air cool without the benefit of fans or any other external cooling methods.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Laotionne — On Apr 08, 2014

Stress relieving steel for steel used in industrial projects is a large scale process, but there are ways you can heat and strengthen steel at home.

Yes, you can actually use some of the soft steel items you have around your home to create stronger steel products such as chisels, knives and swords. I don't know that you will have much use for a sword, but it is an option.

You can find out the specifics online, but the general heating process can be completed in a barbecue grill. You will also need a heating torch, coals and tongs. The whole setup reminds me of the pictures I have seen of blacksmiths at work.

By Drentel — On Apr 07, 2014

While stress relieving steel is most closely associated with improving the strength of steel, the heating process can help in other areas as well. Stress relieving can make the steel more easy to handle and manipulate with the machinery used to produce steel products.

In general, stress relieving steel makes it easier to shape and makes it stronger. This also translates into steel products that are more user friendly.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.