It is a heat treatment applied to create a balanced structure by making the steel structure spherical. As a result of softening, hardness decreases significantly and ductility increases. Machining improves with softening in high-carbon steels, while machinability worsens in low-carbon steels. Especially in high carbon steels, softening annealing is important to make the structure suitable for hardening.
Soft annealing can be applied to copper and brass alloys as well as to steel.
Soft annealing is normally applied to high carbon steels and tool steels to give them a softer and more easily machined structure.
During cold forming of copper and brass parts, the material becomes harder. The more cold forming, the harder the material. The effect of cold forming can be eliminated by soft annealing.
The hardness obtained after soft annealing depends on the type of steel or alloy.
Generally soft annealed materials:
- Steel 170-300 HB
- Copper 40-70 HV
- Brass 50-100 HV