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The time and temperature of a heat treatment vary depending on the metal or alloy being treated and the qualities desired in the finished product. Different treatments are needed for making flexible sheet metal, copper wire, and hard ball bearings. In furnaces using metal belts or wire baskets to hold the heated pieces, some processes use temperatures as low as 250 degrees Fahrenheit or as high as 2,450 degrees Fahrenheit. Some qualities can only be achieved by subjecting the metal to temperatures hundreds of degrees below zero.
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