Heat Treatment & Surface Engineering

Heat Treatment

Malabou offer full heat treatment capability including;

General Heat Treatment Process
  • stress relieving
  • normalising
  • homogenisation
  • annealing
  • harden and temper
  • precipitation hardening
Vacuum Furnace

Heat treating under a vacuum maintains the surface finish of components during treatment.
Vacuum heat treating is used for bright hardening and tempering, bright annealing, solution annealing of stainless steel, and vacuum brazing. We use a nitrogen gas quench into the vacuum furnace if required.

Induction hardening

Induction hardening is a process where the component is heated by electromagnetic induction. A high frequency alternating current is passed through a coil that is near the area to be heated. The heated area is then quickly quenched using water spray. The heating and quenching is very rapid and localised.


A surface hardening treatment in which carbon is diffused into the surface of a low carbon/low alloy steel at high temperature (approx. 900ᵒC). After quenching the result is a component with high hardness on the surface, but the core remains tough.


Nitriding is a surface hardening treatment that introduces nitrogen into the surface of the steel at a relatively low temperature (approx. 520ᵒC). At this temperature, the nitrogen reacts with alloying elements in the steel and forms a hard compound known as ‘nitride’. The creates an extremely hard surface. Because of the low processing temperatures and the absence of quenching, Nitriding is a very low distortion process in comparison to conventional heat treatment.

FNC – Ferritic NitroCarburising 

A case hardening that diffuses nitrogen and carbon into the iron or steel component. This is done at a relatively low temperature 525 to 625°C (977 to 1157°F). At this temperature iron/steel is still in a Ferritic Phase, which is advantageous compared to other case hardening processes that occur in the Austenite Phase. The process is used to improve three main surface integrity aspects including;

  • scuffing resistance,
  • fatigue properties, and
  • corrosion resistance.
  • Like Nitriding it has the added advantage of inducing negligible distortion during the hardening process.

Surface Engineering and Coatings

We offer a comprehensive range of surface coating and surface engineering technologies. Including

Mechanical finishes

Shot Blasting
Sand Blasting
Bead Blasting

Chemical conversion Coatings
  • Phosphating
  • Black Oxide
  • Anodizing
Pickling and Passivating
  • Nickle, Chromium, Zinc
Hot Dip Galvanizing
Painting, Powder coating
Mil Spec Coatings
Physical Chemistry
  • Nitriding
  • Carburising
  • NitroCarburising

Malabou - Latest Articles & News

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Wear Resistant Castings

Wear is a complex field and there are numerous types of wear. Different types (and combinations) of wear mechanisms requires different approaches to the material selection and design.

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Part I. The Metallurgy of: “Alloy Selection for Elevated Temperature Application”

Introduction This is a complex subject in part due to the time dependant mechanical behaviour of metals under load at elevated temperature. At room temperature, we understand that a part is failing once it is past it’s yield point – plastic deformation is occurring. The part is completely destroyed once…

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Part II. The Metallurgy of: “Alloy Selection for Elevated Temperature Application”

Malabou cast special alloys that allow for castings to be used at elevated temperature’s, in some cases in excess of 1000°C. These heat resistant casting alloys consist of predominantly of combinations of nickel, chromium and iron together with small percentages of other elements. Castings made of these high temperature alloys…

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The Metallurgy of: “Is Stainless Steel Magnetic?”

Of course many of you will know the answer, some of you won’t & some of you will be surprised by the answer. Malabou specialises in making castings in stainless, alloy, mild, and tool steels and we are often asked this question. Background Metallurgy. At room temperature, Mild Steel is…

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