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MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

EXPERIMENT NO:

OBJECT: To study of hardening of steel and effect of quenching medium on hardness. THEORY: Hardening of steel Hardening of steel is obtained by a suitable quench within or above the critical range. The temperatures are the same as those given for full annealing. The soaking time in air furnaces should be 1,2 min for each mm of cross-section or 0,6 min in salt or lead baths. Uneven heating, overheating and excessive scaling should be avoided. The quenching is necessary to suppress the normal breakdown of austenite into ferrite and cementite, and to cause a partial decomposition at such a low temperature to produce martensite.to obtain this, steel requires a critical cooling velocity, which is greatly reduced by the presence of alloying elements, which therefore cause hardening with mild quenching. The quenching is necessary to supress the normal breakdown of austenite into ferrite and cementite, and to cause a partial decomposition at such a low temperature to produce martensite. To obtain this ,steel requires a critical cooling velocity ,which is greatly reduced by the presence of alloying elements, which therefore cause hardening with mild quenching(e.g. oil and hardening steels). Steels wit less than o,3% carbon cannot be hardened effectively,while the maximum effect is obtained at about 0,7% due to an increased tendency to retain austenite in high carbon steels.

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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

Fig.1. Variation of hardness of martensite and bainite with carbon content

Water is one of the most efficient quenching media where maximum hardness is required,but it is liable to cause distortion and cracking of the article.Where hardness can be sacrificed,whale,cotton seed and mineral are used.These tend to oxidise and form sludge with consequent lowering of efficiency.The quenching velocity of oil is much less than water.Ferrite and troostite are formed even in small sections.Intermidiate rates between water and oil can be obtained with water containing 10-30% Ucon,a substance with an inverse solubility which therefore deposits on the object to slow the rate of cooling.to minimise distortion,long cylindrical object should be quenched vertically,flat sections edgesways and thick sections should enter the bath first.To prevent steam bubbles forming soft spots ,a water quenching bath should be agitated. Full hardened and tempered steels develop the best combinations of strength and nonductility.

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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

Tampering & toughening


The martensite of quenched tool steel is exceedingly brittle and highly stressed.Consequently cracking and distortion of the object are liable to occur after quenching.Retained ausentite is unstable and as it changes dimensions may after,e.g.dies may alter0,012 mm. It is necessary,therefore,to warm the steel below the critical range in order to relieve stresses and to allow the arrested reaction of cementite precipitaions to take place.This is known as tempering. 150-250C.The object is heated in an oil bath, immediately after quenching, to prevent relative cracking, to relieve internal stress and to decompose austentite without much softening. 200-450C. Used to toughen the steel at the expense of hardness. Brinell hardness number is 350-450. 450-700C. The precipitated cementite coalesces into larger masses and the steel becomes softer. The structure is known as sorbote, which at the higher temperatures becomes coarsely spheroidised. It itches more slowly than troostite and has a brinell hardness number 220-350. Sorbite is generally found in heat-treated constructional steels, such as axels, shafts, crankshafts subjected to dynamic stresses. A treatment of quenching and tempering in this temperature range is frequently referred to as toughening, and it produces an increase in ratio of the elastic limit to the ultimate tensile strength. The reactions in tempering occur slowly. Reaction time as well as temperature of heating is important. Tempering is carried to an extend under pyrometric control in oil, salt (e.g equal parts of sodium and potassium nitrates for 200C-600C) or lead baths and also in furnaces in which the air is circulated by fans. After the tempering, the objects may be cooled either rapidly or slowly, except for steels susceptible to temper britellness. Temper colours formed on a cleaned surface still used occasionally as a guide to temperature. They exists due to the interference effects of thin films of oxides formed during tempering , and they act similarly to oil films on water. Alloys such as stainless steel forms thinner films than do carbon steels for a given temperature and hence produce a colour lower in the series. For example, pale straw corresponds to 300C, instead of 230C(table 1)

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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

Temper colour Pale straw Dark straw Brown Brownish-purple Purple Dark purple Blue Blue

Temperature C 230 240 250 260 270 280 300 450-650

Objects Planning and slotting tools Milling cutters and drills Taps, shear blades for metals Punches, cups, snaps, twist drills,reamers Press tools, axes Cold chisels, sets for steel Saws for wood, springs Toughening for constructional steels

For turning , planning , shaping tools and chisels , only the cutting parts need hardening. This is frequently carried out in engineering works by heating the tool to 730C, followed by quenching and cutting end vertically. When the cutting end gets cold, it is cleaned with stone and the heat from the shank of the tool is allowed to temper the cutting edge to the correct colour . Then the whole tool is quenched. Oxidation can be reduced by coating the tool with charcoal and oil. Changes during tempering the principles underlying the tempering of quenched steels have a close similarity to those of precipitation hardening. The overlapping changes, which occur when high carbon martenstite is tempered , are shown in fig.2 and as follows: Stage 1: 50-200C. martenstie breaks down to a transition precipitate known as c-carbide (Fe2,4C) across twins and a low cabon martenstie which results in slight dispersion hardening , decrease in volume and electrical resistance. Stage 2. 205-305C. decomposition of retained austenite to bainite and decrease in hardness. Stage 3.250-500C. conversion of aggregate of low carbon martensite and c-carbide into ferrite and cementite precipitated along twins, which gradually coarsens to give visible particles and rapid softening ,Fig .3. Stage 4.carbide changes in alloy steel at 400-700C. In steels containing one alloying addition, cementite forms first and the alloy diffuses to it. When sufficiently enriched the Fe3C transforms to an alloy carbide. After further enrichment this carbide may be superseded by another and this formation of transition carbides may be repeated several
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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

times before the equilibrium carbide forms. In the chromium steel, changes are :Fe3C >Cr7C3>Cr23C6. In steels containing several carbide forming elements the reaction are often more complex, and the carbides which decompose are not necessary followed by carbides based on the same alloy elements. The transformation can also occur in suitable gradual exchange of atoms without any appreciable hardening; or by resolution of existing iron carbides and fresh nucleation of coherent carbide with considerable hardening that counteracts the normal softening that occurs during tempering. In some alloy steels, therefore, the hardness is maintained constant up to about 50000C or in some cases it rises to a peak followed by a gradual drop due to breakdown of coherance of the cabide particles. This agehardenning process is known as secondary hardening and it enhances high temperature creep properties of steel ( e.g. steel E in fig.2). Chromium,for a example, seems to stabalise the size of the cementite particles over a range 200-5000C. vanadium and molybdenum form a fine dispersion of coherant precipitates (V4C3Mo2C) in a ferrite matrix with conciderable hardening. When overr-ageing starts the V4C3 grows in the grain boundaries and also forms a Widmansttten pattern of plates within the grain.

Figure 2. Tempering curves for 0.35% C steel and die steel

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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h)

As quenched. Laths with high density of dislocation. Tempered 300C. Widmanattten precipitation of carbides within laths. Tempered 500C. Recovery of dislocation structure into cells with laths. Tempered 600C. Recrystallisation cementite rebucleatedequioxed ferrite boundaries. High C twinned martensite. Tempered 100C. fine e-carbides across twins. Tempered 200C. coherant cementite along twins, c-carbides dissolve. Tempered 4000C. breakdown of twinned sstructure. Carbides grow and spheroidise.

Figure 3. Low cardon lath martensites have a high Ms temperature and some tempering often occurs on cooling, i.e. autotempering. Quenching:The quenching and partitioning process has been developed to produce high strength steel. After austenitisation and interrupted quinching and austanite transforms parrtly to martensite. The remaining austantite is stablised by carbon partitioning from martensite. After final
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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

quench the tampered martasite gives a high strength level. The TRIP-assisted local strain hardening assures satisfying dutility. The process desingh is limited by reactions competing against the carbon partitioning, i.e. carbon precipitation and isothermal bainite transfomation. For a given chemical composition a vast scope of adjustable mechanical properties are investigated as a function of a process perameters. The corresponding micro structure is characterised by light and electron microscopy and XRD measurements. Suplimentary information on the process kinetics is obtained by dilatometry. Silicon shows more effective in retarding cementite precipitation than aluminium. Retained austenite occurs in filmy constitution between bcc laths as well as blocky grains. Quenching:- It is the process of rapidly cooling the metal from the solution or austenitizing treating temperature, typically from within the range of 815C 1100C (1500F to 2012F) for steel. High-alloy and stainless steel may be quenched to minimise grain bour dary carbides or to improve the ferrite distribution but most steel including carbon, low-alloy, and tool steel, are quenched to produce controlled amounts of martensite in the micristructure. Successful hardenind usually means achieving the required microstructure, hardness, or toughness while minimizing residual stress, distortion, and the possibility of cracking. The a quench medium is usually a liquid such as water and depends on the harden-ability of the particular alloy, the section thickness and shape involved, and the cooling rates needed to achieve the desired microstructure. The most common quenchmedia are either liquid or gases. The liquid quench commonly used include: Oil that may contain a variety of additives Leceted liquid polymers Water that may contain salt or caustic additives

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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

Gas type quench medians may also be used, such as inert gases including helium, argon, and nitrogen. These quench gasses are somrtimes used after austenitizing in a vaccum. The ability of a quenchto harden steel depends on the cooling characteristics of the quenching medium valadity and quantity. Quenching effectiveness is dependent on the steel chemical composition , type of quench or the quenchuse conditions. The design of the quenching system and the thoroughness with which the system is maintained also contribute to the success of the process. The reson of the quenching system process is to cool steel from the austenitizingtemperature quickly enough to form the desire microstructural phases, sometimes bainite but mero often martensite. The basic quench function is to control the rate of heat transfer from the surface of the part being quenched. Quenching process The rate of heat extraction by a quenching medium and the way it is used substantially affects quench performance. Variations in quenching partices have resulted in the assignment of specific names ti some quenching techniques-

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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MATERIAL SCIENCE LAB

IIIRD SEM, B.TECH

Result:-

Direct quenching Time quenching Selective quenching Spray quenching Fog quenching Interrupted quenching

The study of hardening of steel and effect of quenching medium on hardness has been done.

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DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING