Heat treating is a group of industrial and metalworking processes used to alter the physical , and sometimes chemical , properties of a material. The most common application is metallurgical . Heat treatments are also used in the manufacture of many other materials, such as glass . Heat treatment involves the use of heating or chilling, normally to extreme temperatures, to achieve a desired result such as hardening or softening of a material. Heat treatment techniques include annealing , case hardening, precipitation strengthening, tempering and quenching. It is noteworthy that while the term heat treatment applies only to processes where the heating and cooling are done for the specific purpose of altering properties intentionally, heating and cooling often occur incidentally during other manufacturing processes such as hot forming or welding.