Although ferrous metals account for the majority of heat treated materials, alloys of copper, magnesium, aluminium, nickel, brass, and titanium may also be heat treated.
About 80% of heat treated metals are different grades of steel. Ferrous metals that can be heat treated include cast iron, stainless steel and various grades of tool steel.
Processes like hardening, annealing, normalising, stress relieving, case hardening, nitriding, and tempering are generally done on ferrous metals.
Copper and copper alloys are subjected to heat treatment methods such as annealing, ageing and quenching.
Aluminium is suitable for heat treatment methods such as annealing, solution heat treating, natural and artificial ageing. Heat treatment for aluminium is a precision process. Process scope must be established and it should be controlled carefully at each stage for the desired characteristics.
Evidently, not all materials are suitable for the forms of heat treatment. Similarly, a single material will not necessarily benefit from each method. Therefore, every material should be studied separately to achieve the desired result. Using the phase diagrams and available information about the effect the aforementioned methods have is the starting point.