What happens to metal that is brought up to annealing temperature
and immediately dunked in cold water vs metal that is brought up to
annealing temperature and allowed to cool slowly without
To answer this question properly would require a book, and quite a
few were written, so I limit myself only to practical considerations.
Subjecting metal to hammering, bending, drawing, and etc… caused
metal to become unworkable. When this condition is reached,
annealing it restores original alloy properties. If done at ideal
temperature and cooling cycle, the restoration will approach 100%. If
there is a deviation in parameters, the restoration will be less, the
exact amount depending on how large the deviation is.
Heating silver and allowing it to cool slowly will not restore metal
to original workability. Different allows will react differently. The
point I want to make is that restoration of original workability is
not necessarily a desired outcome. That is why we see different
recommendation on quenching. Annealing should not be done
automatically. Like everything else, one size does not fit all.