For metal that has been cold-processed, formed, machined, welded, or cut, it may be necessary to preform a stress relieving operation to reduce stresses created during the fabrication process.
Stresses in metal as a result of fabrication operations can cause unwanted dimension changes, distortion, premature failure or stress corrosion cracking of the part when these stresses are released. Parts with tight dimensional requirements may require stress relieved before other production operations can be performed. Welded sections can be made tension-free with a stress relief heating operation.
Stress relieving can be performed in a controlled atmosphere chamber or vacuum to reduce oxidation.