CHE 333 Class 9. HEAT TREATMENT OF STEEL. EXAM. Material Covered – Up to and including class 7, along with labs 1, 2 and 3. Multiple choice questions. What and Why Heat Treat?. HEAT TREATMENT is THERMAL PROCESSING to OPTIMISE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES.
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HEAT TREATMENT OF STEEL
HEAT TREATMENT is THERMAL PROCESSING to OPTIMISE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES.
By heat treatment a 10 to 1 ratio can be achieved
between maximum and minimum strength levels.
At the same time a 50 to 1 ratio of ductility can be
Thermal Treatments range from quenching to long
holds, 24 hours, at a fixed temperature.
In all cases the thermal processing controls the
microstructure and so also the mechanical
Hardenability is the ability of a steel to form martensite. The greater the hardenabillity the more martensite. Note the difference between hardness and hardenabilty. Hardness is used to measure hardenability. A steel rod is cooled rapidly from one end in a Jominy test and the hardness measured as a function of distance from the quenched end. The decrease in hardness gives the hardenability. For the three steels
1040, 4140 and 4340, the hardness drops rapidly after 5mm for the 1040 so it has low hardenabilty. The 4340 has much better hardenability. The hardness of martensite depends on
The carbon content as 1060 has 0.6%C and 1080 has 0.8%C.
Quench media, grain size, bar diameter affect the measurements.
Applications of Hardenability Include
After quenching to form martensite, a strong but brittle material is produced. For many
Applications a weaker but more tough or ductile material is needed so quenched, Martensitic
steels are Tempered to reduce strength but increase ductility. During tempering, carbide in the
form of small particles are formed as the steel tries to go back to its equilibrium phases. These
carbide compositions involve the carbide formers, Mo, W, Cr, Ti, V. Tempering temperatures and
times are set at values that favour the formation of these carbides.
Tempering is holding the steel below the eutectoid temperature of 727C for a period
of time. During this period, the martensite, transforms to two phase a + carbide. The
specific carbide depends on the steel composition.
Note the tempering temperature controls the service temperature of the steel.
A 4340 steel is austenitized at 1650F, quenched into oil and tempered at 325F for
1 hour to give a yield strength of 230,000 psi.
Temper embrittlement is a range of tempering where the steel becomes brittle after
tempering. The temperature range is 350 to 500F, which produces hardnesses of
48 to 42 Rockwell C scale.
The higher the temperature or the longer the time, the lower the strength, the greater
the ductility and the higher the elongation to failure. This enables steel properties to be
controlled to particular desirable ranges.
Holding pearlite for 24 hours
at 650C leads to a
Spherodized structure as the
carbides form large particles.
This is the softest and weakest
steel, Rc is 8.5, yield strength
around 30,000. The idea is
to machine in the soft condition
where minimum effort is
required, then heat treat to reach
the strength required of the
Annealing – heat treating to produce a soft structure.
Normalizing – air cooling after high temperature exposure
Full Anneal – furnace cooling after high temperature exposure – very slow cool
Process Anneal – an anneal conducted during processing
Bright Anneal – control atmosphere to stop oxidation process.
Controlled atmosphere annealing – control the atmosphere while heating. Produces
specific surface compositions.
Cautions – surface condition changes, due to oxidation and composition changes as
elements diffuse from the surface e.g. decarburization.
distortion – piece changes shape during annealing, especially after working.
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Unified
Numbering System (UNS), and Mil Spec are all different methods of classifying steels.
AISI is most common.
Last two digits are the carbon content. For example XX20 is 0.2%C, XX80 is 0.8%C.
The first two digits are the alloy additions, For example 1020 is a plain carbon steel,
while a 4340 steel is the Nickel, Chrome Molybdenum series.
All these steel have manganese added to pick up sulfur as MnS inclusions.
Tool steels have a different AISI series depending how the steel is hardened.
Stainless Steels have series, such as 300, 400. 300 series is for steels that
are austenitic at room temperature, 304 is common which is Fe 19 Cr 9 Ni
0.08%C – note the very low carbon content. The 400 series are lower on nickel
and so are ferritic unless quenched when they become martensitic. 440A is Fe
17Cr, 1Mn, 1Si, 0.75Mo, 0.7C, 0.3 S and 0.04 . Grades of this are A (0.7C), B
(0.85C)and C(1.0C) with increasing carbon content.
Also have 17 4pH for Precipitation Hardening. In this case the austenite is
metastable at room temperature after quenching and decomposes during
Composition is Fe with C 0.040, Cr 15.50, Co + Ta 0.30, Cu 3.50, Mn 0.40, Ni
4.50, P 0.020,Si 0.50, S 0.0050