Work Hardening

Work hardening, also known as strain hardening or cold working, is the strengthening of a metal by plastic deformation. This strengthening occurs because of dislocation movements and dislocation generation within the crystal structure of the material. Many non-brittle metals with a reasonably high melting point as well as several polymers can be strengthened in this fashion. Alloys not amenable to heat treatment, including low-carbon steel, are often work-hardened. Some materials cannot be work-hardened at normal ambient temperatures, such as indium, however others can only be strengthened via work hardening, such as pure Copper and Aluminum.