The heat treatment process is employed with both chemical nickel and hard chromium process technologies.
Heat treatment serves as a preventative measure for the resistance of high strength steel parts against hydrogen
induced brittle fractures, in accordance with DIN 50969 (colloquially referred to as hydrogen diffusion annealing).
Directly after nickel or chromium plating, the parts are placed in a furnace (between 120°C – 400°C) for dehydrogenation. By means of appropriate heat treatment, it is possible to extract the hydrogen absorbed during the coating process. The surface characteristics change very little. It should be noted here that with increasing coating thickness, the gas tightness of the coating increases.
Further advantages of heat treatment are that the adhesion and hardness of the chemical nickel coating increase. With heat treatment upwards of approximately 290°C, the hardness can be increased to about 1,000 (± 50) HV.
Avoidance of hydrogen embrittlement