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Annealing, a heat treatment process, is used to soften metals that have been hardened by cold working. This chapter discusses the following three distinct processes that can occur during annealing: recovery, recrystallization, and grain growth. The types of processes that occur during recovery are the annihilation of excess point defects, the rearrangement of dislocations into lower-energy configurations, and the formation of subgrains that grow and interlock into sub-boundaries. The article also discusses the main factors that affect recrystallization. They are temperature and time; degree of cold work; purity of the metal; original grain size; and temperature of deformation. The types of grain growth discussed include normal or continuous grain growth and abnormal or discontinuous grain growth.

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