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Heat Treatment of Steel

Heat Treatment of Steel

From the 1924 edition of Machinery's Handbook


This is the final part, the 7th. After it, however, now comes
Testing the Hardness of Metals

Copyright: expired.

DISCLAIMER: DON'T WRITE FOR ADVICE ON THIS STUFF. I DON'T HAVE ANY.
Detailed table of contents
First section: Furnaces and Baths for Heating Steel
Previous section: Casehardening
Next section: Testing the Hardness of Metals

Application and Heat Treatment of


S. A. E. Carbon and Alloy Steels

The following data and information on various carbon and alloy steels is condensed from reports of the Iron and Steel
Division of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., as revised up to September, 1920. The steels referred to are
intended primarily for use in automobile construction, but have proved of such value in other fields that they have
been adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc. (S. A. E.), for general use in aeronautic, marine, motor
cycle, stationary engine and tractor industries. The accompanying tables give the compositions conforming to S. A. E.
specifications as applied to various carbon and alloy steels. The notes and instructions given in the following,
regarding physical characteristics, heat treatments, etc., are not to be considered as part of the S. A. E. specifications,
but are added solely for the guidance of users of these steels and to assist buyers in selecting the proper steels for
different purposes.

When referring to the tables, "Physical Properties of Heat-treated Carbon Steels" and "Physical Properties of Heat-
treated Alloy Steels," the following points should be considered: (1) The figures given indicate what can be expected
as the average product of a given composition when treated in the manner specified, and as applied to average sections
prevailing in automobile work; (2) the values given are low enough so as to protect the makers of heat-treated stock
and parts from unreasonable demands, the idea being to give values which coincide with the results obtained when
stock of medium to high grade is purchased in the open market and treated by means of commercially efficient
equipment controlled by commercially accurate instruments. For the sake of simplicity it was deemed advisable to
adopt only average minimum values for tensile strength, elastic limit, reduction of area and elongation. These values
are based upon the following considerations, the heat treatment being kept constant: The lowest tensile strength and
elastic limit occur with steels at the bottom of a given range in carbon. The lowest reductions in area and elongations
occur with steels at the top of a given range in carbon. True elastic limits are given, because these are constantly lower
than corresponding yield points. The yield point is measured by the drop of the testing machine beam, and while this is
the most readily and widely used measure of the so-called elastic limit, the results obtained by this method are
generally 5000 to 15,000 pounds higher than the true elastic limit when the latter property is not in excess of 125,000
pounds per square inch. The values given are very conservative and average results in practice will generally exceed
appreciably the figures given, which serves to increase the factor of safety and protect both the engineer and the
manufacturer.

S. A. E. Specification Numbers for Steels. -- A numeral index system has been adopted by the Society of
Automotive Engineers, Inc. for representing the different classes of steel included in the S. A. E. specifications. This
system makes it possible to employ specification numerals on shop drawings and blueprints that are partially
descriptive of the steel to which the numbers apply. The first figure of the number indicates the general class to which
the steel belongs: thus, 1, indicates carbon steel; 2, nickel steel; 3, nickel-chromium steel; 5, chromium steel; 6,
chromium-vanadium steel; 7, tungsten steel; 9, silico-manganese steel. In the case of alloy steels, the second figure
generally indicates the approximate percentage of the chief alloying element. The last two or three figures indicate the

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Heat Treatment of Steel

average carbon content in "points" or hundredths of one per cent. For example, specification No. 2512 indicates a
nickel steel with approximately 5 per cent nickel, and 0.12 per cent carbon; and specification No. 71660 indicates a
tungsten steel with about 16 per cent tungsten and 0.60 per cent carbon.

Heat Treatments for Carbon and Alloy Steels


(Recommended for various steels conforming to S. A. E. specifications)

Heat Treatment A

After forging or machining:


1. Carbonize between 1600 degrees F. and 1750 degrees F. (1650 degrees-1700 degrees F. desired)
2. Cool slowly or quench.
3. Reheat to 1450 degrees-1500 degrees F. and quench.

Heat Treatment B
After forging or machining:
1. Carbonize between 1600 degrees F. and 1750 degrees F. (1650 degrees-1700 degrees F. desired).
2. Cool slowly in the carbonizing mixture.
3. Reheat to 1500 degrees-1625 degrees F.
4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 1400 degrees-1450 degrees F.
6. Quench.
7. Draw in hot oil varying from 300 degrees-450 degrees F. depending upon hardness desired.

Heat Treatment D
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1500 degrees-1600 degrees F.
2. Quench.
3. Reheat to 1400 degrees-1450 degrees F.
4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 600 degrees-1200 degrees F. and cool slowly

Heat Treatment E
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1500 degrees-1550 degrees F.
2. Cool slowly.
3. Reheat to 1450 degrees-1500 degrees F.
4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 600 degrees-1200 degrees F. and cool slowly

Heat Treatment F
After shaping or coiling:
1. Heat to 1425 degrees-1475 degrees F.
2. Quench in oil.
3. Reheat to 400 degrees-900 degrees F. according to temper desired, and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment G
After forging or machining:
1. Carbonize between 1600 degrees F. and 1750 degrees F. (1650 degrees-1700 degrees F. desired).

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Heat Treatment of Steel

2. Cool slowly in the carbonizing material.


3. Reheat to 1500 degrees-1550 degrees F.
4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 1300 degrees-1400 degrees F.
6. Quench.
7. Reheat to 250 degrees-500 degrees F. (depending upon work) and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment H
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1500 degrees-1600 degrees F.
2. Quench.
3. Reheat to 600 degrees-1200 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment K
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1500 degrees-1550 degrees F.
2. Quench.
3. Reheat to 1300 degrees-1350 degrees F.
4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 600 degrees-1200 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment L
After forging or machining:
1. Carbonize between 1600 degrees F. and 1750 degrees F. (1650 degrees-1700 degrees F. desired).
2. Cool slowly in the carbonizing mixture.
3. Reheat to 1400 degrees-1450 degrees F.
4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 1300 degrees-1400 degrees F.
6. Quench.
7. Reheat to 250 degrees-500 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment M
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1450 degrees-1500 degrees F. 2. Quench.
3. Reheat to 500 degrees-1250 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment P
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1450 degrees-1500 degrees F. 2. Quench.
3. Reheat to 1375 degrees-1450 degrees F. 4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 500 degrees-1250 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment Q
After forging:
1. Heat to 1500 degrees-1600 degrees F.
2. Cool slowly.
3. Machine
4. Reheat to 1375 degrees-1425 degrees F.
5. Quench.

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Heat Treatment of Steel

6. Reheat to 250 degrees-550 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment R
After forging:
1. Heat to 1500 degrees-1550 degrees F.
2. Quench in oil
3. Reheat to 1200 degrees-1300 degrees F. (Hold at this temperature three hours.)
4. Cool slowly.
5. Machine.
6. Reheat to 1350 degrees-1450 degrees F.
7. Quench in oil.
8. Reheat to 250 degrees-550 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment S
After forging or machining:
1. Carbonize between 1600 degrees F. and 1750 degrees F. (1650 degrees-1700 degrees F. desired).
2. Cool slowly in the carbonizing mixture.
3. Reheat to 1650 degrees-1750 degrees F.
4. Quench.
5. Reheat to 1475 degrees-1550 degrees F.
6. Quench.
7. Reheat to 250 degrees-550 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment T
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1500 degrees-1600 degrees F. 2. Quench.
3. Reheat to 500 degrees-1300 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment U
After forging:
1. Heat to 1525 degrees-1600 degrees F. (Hold for about one-half hour.)
2. Cool slowly.
3. Machine
4. Reheat to 1650 degrees-1700 degrees F.
5. Quench.
6. Reheat to 350 degrees-550 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Heat Treatment V
After forging or machining:
1. Heat to 1650 degrees-1750 degrees F. 2. Quench.
3. Reheat to 400 degrees-1200 degrees F. and cool slowly.

Ten Per Cent Carbon Steel (Specification No. 1010). -- This steel is usually known in the trade as soft, basic open-
hearth steel. It is commonly used for seamless tubing, pressed steel frames, pressed steel brake drums, sheet steel brake
bands, and a variety of other pressed steel parts. In a natural or annealed condition this steel has little tenacity, and
should not be used where much strength is required. The quality is considerably improved by cold-drawing or cold-
rolling, the yield point being raised by such mechanical working. When this steel, after such cold working, is heated as
for bending, pressing, welding, etc., the yield point returns to that corresponding with the annealed steel. This is also
true of all materials that are given a higher yield point by cold working. This steel has the following physical
characteristics:

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Heat Treatment of Steel

Annealed Cold-drawn
Yield point, pounds per square inch . . .28,000 to 36,000 40,000 to 60,000
Reduction of area, per cent . . . . . . . . . 65-55 55-45
Elongation in 2 inches, per cent . . . . . . 40-30 unimportant

Heat Treatment. -- The 0.10 per cent carbon steel in the natural or annealed state does not machine freely, and will tear
badly in turning, threading, or broaching operations. Heat treatment is of little benefit although the steel is made
somewhat tougher. If this steel is heated to 1500 degrees F. and quenched in oil or water, this will produce a little
stiffness and put the steel in better condition for machining operations. No drawing is required. While this steel may
be case-hardened, it is not as suitable as the 0.20 per cent carbon steel. For data on the composition, see the table "S.
A. E. Specifications for Carbon Steels" [below].

S. A. E. Specifications for Carbon Steels


Carbon, Per Cent Manganese, Per Cent Maximum Percentage
S. A. E. Specification Number
Desired Min. and Max. Desired Min. and Max. Phosphorus Sulphur
0.10 0.05-0.15 0.45 0.30-0.60 0.045 0.050 1010
0.20 0.15-0.25 0.45 0.30-0.60 0.045 0.050 1020
0.25 0.20-0.30 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.045 0.050 1025
0.35 0.30-0.40 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.045 0.050 1035
0.45 0.40-0.50 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.045 0.050 1045
0.95 0.90-1.05 0.85 0.25-0.50 0.040 0.050 1095

S. A. E. Specifications for Nickel and Nickel-Chromium Steels


Carbon, Per Cent Manganese, Per Cent Nickel, Per Cent Chromium, Per Cent
S. A. E. Specification
Min. and Min. and Min. and Min. and Number
Desired Desired Desired Desired
Max. Max. Max. Max.
Nickel Steels
0.15 0.10-0.20 0.65 0.50-0.80 3.50 3.25-3.75 2315
0.20 0.15-0.25 0.65 0.50-0.80 3.50 3.25-3.75 2320
0.30 0.25-0.35 0.65 0.50-0.80 3.50 3.25-3.75 2330
0.35 0.30-0.40 0.65 0.50-0.80 3.50 3.25-3.75 2335
0.40 0.35-0.45 0.65 0.50-0.80 3.50 3.25-3.75 2340
0.45 0.40-0.50 0.65 0.50-0.80 3.50 3.25-3.75 2345
0.12 0.17 0.45 0.30-0.60 5.00 4.50-5.25 2512#
Nickel-Chromium Steels
0.20 0.15-0.25 0.65 0.50-0.80 1.25 1.00-1.50 0.600 0.45-0.75 3120
0.25 0.20-0.30 0.65 0.50-0.80 1.25 1.00-1.50 0.600 0.45-0.75 3125
0.30 0.25-0.35 0.65 0.50-0.80 1.25 1.00-1.50 0.600 0.45-0.75 3130
0.35 0.30-0.40 0.65 0.50-0.80 1.25 1.00-1.50 0.600 0.45-0.75 3135

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Heat Treatment of Steel

0.40 0.35-0.45 0.65 0.50-0.80 1.25 1.00-1.50 0.600 0.45-0.75 3140


0.20 0.15-0.25 0.45 0.30-0.60 1.75 1.50-2.00 1.100 0.90-1.25 3220
0.30 0.25-0.35 0.45 0.30-0.60 1.75 1.50-2.00 1.100 0.90-1.25 3230
0.40 0.35-0.45 0.45 0.30-0.60 1.75 1.50-2.00 1.100 0.90-1.25 3240
0.50 0.45-0.55 0.45 0.30-0.60 1.75 1.50-2.00 1.100 0.90-1.25 3250
0.15 0.10-0.20 0.60 0.45-0.75 3.00 2.75-3.25 0.800 0.60-0.95 3415
0.35 0.30-0.40 0.60 0.45-0.75 3.00 2.75-3.25 0.800 0.60-0.95 3435
0.50 0.45-0.55 0.60 0.45-0.75 3.00 2.75-3.25 0.800 0.60-0.95 3450
0.20 0.15-0.25 0.45 0.30-0.60 3.50 3.25-3.75 1.500 1.25-1.75 3320
0.30 0.25-0.35 0.45 0.30-0.60 3.50 3.25-3.75 1.500 1.25-1.75 3330
0.40 0.35-0.45 0.45 0.30-0.60 3.50 3.25-3.75 1.500 1.25-1.75 3340

S. A. E. Specifications for Chromium and Chromium-Vanadium Steels *


Vanadium, Per
Carbon, Per Cent Manganese, Per Cent Chromium, Per Cent
Cent S. A. E. Specification
Min. and Min. and Min. and Number
Desired Desired Desired Desired Min.
Max. Max. Max.
Chromium Steels
0.20 0.15-0.25 # # 0.75 0.60-0.90 5120
0.40 0.35-0.45 # # 0.75 0.60-0.90 5140
0.65 0.60-0.70 # # 0.75 0.60-0.90 5165
1.00 0.95-1.10 0.35 0.20-0.50 1.35 1.20-1.50 52100
Chromium-Vanadium Steels
0.20 0.15-0.25 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6120
0.25 0.20-0.30 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6125
0.30 0.25-0.35 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6130
0.35 0.30-0.40 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6135
0.40 0.35-0.45 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6140
0.45 0.40-0.50 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6145
0.50 0.45-0.55 0.65 0.50-0.80 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6150
0.95 0.90-1.05 0.35 0.20-0.45 0.95 0.80-1.10 0.18 0.15 6195
* The phosphorus in chromium steels up to specification No. 5165 inclusive must not exceed 0.040 per cent; the
maximum amount for No. 52100 is 0.030 per cent. The maximum sulphur content is 0.045 per cent except for steel No.
52100 which must not have over 0.030 per cent sulphur. The maximum amount of both phosphorus and sulphur for all
chromium-vanadium steels is 0.040 per cent, except No. 6195 which must not have over 0.03 per cent.

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Heat Treatment of Steel

# Two types of steel are available in this class, one with manganese from 0.25 to 0.50 per cent (0.35 per cent desired)
and silicon not over 0.20 per cent; the other with manganese from 0.60 to 0.80 per cent (0.70 per cent desired) and
silicon from 0.15 to 0.50 per cent.

Twenty Per Cent Carbon Steel (Specification No. 1020). -- This steel is known to the trade as 0.20 per cent carbon
open-hearth steel and often as machine steel. It is intended primarily for casehardening, forges well, machines well,
but should not be considered as screw machine stock. This steel may e used for a large variety of forged, machined,
and casehardened automobile parts where strength is not paramount. Steel of this quality may also be drawn into tubes
and rolled into cold-rolled forms, and it is better for frames than the 0.10 per cent carbon steel as it is stronger. For
automobile parts this steel may be used interchangeably with the 0.10 per cent carbon steel as far as cold-processed
shapes are concerned, and it is only the most difficult cold-forming operations that will cause trouble from cracking.

The physical properties of this steel after heat treatment, and of others of higher carbon content, are given in the table,
"Physical Properties of Heat-treated Carbon Steels." These values apply to 1/2 to 1-1/2 inch round specimens which
were heated from 15 to 30 minutes to the temperatures given in the table, quenched in oil, re-heated for 30 minutes
and finally cooled in air. The physical properties given in the table referred to apply to three re-heating temperatures.

Heat Treatment. -- Heat treatment of the 0.20 per cent carbon steel produces but little change so far as strength is
concerned, but it does cause a desirable refinement of the grain after forging, and materially increases the toughness.
The machining qualities can often be improved by heat treatment H. Casehardening is the most important heat
treatment for this quality of steel. The heat treatment depends upon the importance of the part and upon its shape and
size. When parts are not intended to carry much load or withstand any shock, and the principal requirement is
hardness, the simplest form of casehardening as obtained by heat treatment A will suffice. Screws and rod-end pins are
examples of this class of work. For more important parts, such as gears, steering wheel pivot pins, cam rollers, push
rods, and many similar automotive parts, which must not only be hard on the surface but possess strength, the desired
treatment is one which first refines and strengthens the interior and uncarbonized metal. This is then followed by a
treatment for refining the exterior or carbonized metal. Heat treatment B is employed. In the case of very important
parts, the last drawing operation should be continued from one to three hours. The object of drawing is to relieve all
internal strains produced by quenching, and decrease the hardness. The last drawing operation can be omitted with a
large number of pieces. This steel when cold-rolled or cold-drawn will have a yield point of from 40,000 to 75,000
pounds per square inch for sections not over 1/2 inch round, or 1/4 inch thick in the case of sheets or flat stock.

Hardness. -- The various degrees of hardness of the 0.20 per cent carbon steel conforming to the different heat
treatments listed in the table "Physical Properties of Heat-treated Carbon Steels" are as follows: For a re-heating
temperature of 400 degrees F., 180 Brinell and 34 scleroscope; for a re-heating temperature of 900 degrees F., 140
Brinell and 32 scleroscope; for a re-heating temperature of 1400 degrees F., 100 Brinell and 30 scleroscope.

S. A. E. Specifications for Tungsten and Silico-Manganese Steels


Tungsten Steels
Carbon, Per Cent
Sulphur, S. A. E.
Min. Manganese, Phosphorus, Chromium, Tungsten, Per
Max. Per Specification
Desired and Max. Per Cent Max. Per Cent Per Cent Cent
Cent Number
Max.
0.50-
0.60 0.30 0.035 0.035 3.00-4.00 12.0-15.0 71360
0.70
0.50-
0.60 0.30 0.035 0.035 3.00-4.00 15.0-18.0 71660
0.70
0.50-
0.60 0.30 0.035 0.035 3.00-4.00 1.50-2.00 7260
0.70
Silico-Manganese Steels

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Heat Treatment of Steel

Carbon, Per Cent Manganese, Per Cent Silicon, Per Cent


S. A. E.
Min. Phosphorus and
Min. and Specification
Desired and Desired Min. and Max. Desired Sulphur, Max.
Max. Number
Max.
0.45-
0.50 0.70 0.60-0.80 1.95 1.80-2.10 0.45 9250
0.55
0.55-
0.60 0.60 0.50-0.70 1.65 1.50-1.80 0.45 9260
0.65

Twenty-five Per Cent Carbon Steel (Specification No. 1025). -- This steel is used extensively for frames and for
ordinary drop-forgings where moderate ductility is desired but great strength is not essential. It is not intended for
case-hardening, although by careful manipulation it may be so treated. This should be done in emergencies only, rather
than as regular practice, always employing the double heat treatment followed by a drawing operation.

Heat treatment. -- Heat treatment has a moderate effect on the physical properties of the 0.25 per cent carbon steel, but
this effect is not nearly so marked as in the case of the 0.35 per cent carbon steel. Heat treatment H or D may be
employed, the former being simpler. The drawing operation must be varied to suit each individual case. For instance, if
great toughness and little increase in strength are desired, the higher drawing temperatures (1100 degrees or 1200
degrees F.) may be used; whereas, if considerable strength is desired and a little toughness, the lower temperatures are
used. With some parts the drawing operation can be omitted entirely. The double heat treatment D gives better results
than heat treatment H, a better refinement of grain being obtained.

Hardness. -- The various degrees of hardness conforming to the heat treatments listed in the table "Physical Properties
of Heat-treated Carbon Steels" are as follows: For a re-heating temperature of 400 degrees F., 215 Brinell and 37
scleroscope; for a re-heating temperature of 900 degrees F., 160 Brinell and 34 scleroscope; for a re-heating
temperature of 1400 degrees F., 110 Brinell and 30 scleroscope.

Thirty-five Per Cent Carbon Steel (Specification No. 1035). -- This steel is sometimes referred to in the trade as
0.35 per cent carbon machine steel. It is intended primarily for use as structural steel. It forges well, machines well,
and responds to heat treatment as regards strength and toughness. It can be used for all forgings such as axles, driving
shafts, steering pivots, and other structural parts. It is the best all-around structural steel for such use as its strength
warrants.

Heat treatment. -- Heat treatment for toughening and increasing the strength is important with this steel. The heat
treatment must be modified in accordance with the experience of each user and to suit the size of the work as well as
the combination of strength and toughness desired. The steel should be heat treated whenever reliability is essential.
Heat treatments H, D, or E may be employed. Machining may precede the heat treatment, depending somewhat upon
the convenience and nature of the treatment. When heat treatment E is applied, machining may follow the second
operation or the slow cooling after heating to from 1500 degrees to 1550 degrees F. To obtain the most strength, a
quenching medium like brine should be used. The yield point will then be correspondingly high, and the steel harder
and more difficult to machine. If a moderately high yield point will suffice, oil may be used for quenching, and then
machining may follow without any difficulty.

Hardness. -- The various degrees of hardness conforming to the heat treatments listed in the table "Physical Properties
of Heat-treated Carbon Steels" are as follows: For a re-heating temperature of 400 degrees F., 260 Brinell and 42
scleroscope; for a re-heating temperature of 900 degrees F., 200 Brinell and 37 scleroscope; for a re-heating
temperature of 1400 degrees F., 135 Brinell and 32 scleroscope.

Forty-five Per Cent Carbon Steel (Specification No. 1045). -- This steel is ordinarily known in the trade as a 0.45
per cent carbon machine steel. It is a structural steel of greater strength than the 0.35 per cent carbon steel, but its uses
are more limited and are confined in general to such parts as require a higher degree of strength and considerable

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Heat Treatment of Steel

toughness. With the proper heat treatment the fatigue-resisting or endurance qualities are very high -- higher than in
any of the steels previously mentioned. The 0.45 per cent carbon steel is commonly used for crankshafts, driving
shafts, and propeller shafts. It has also been used for transmission gears, but is not quite hard enough without
casehardening and is not tough enough with casehardening to produce safe gears. This steel should not be used for
casehardened parts. When properly annealed it machines well, but not well enough for screw machine work.

Heat treatment. -- When 0.45 per cent carbon steel requires annealing, heat treatment E is suitable. Machining may
follow operation 2, after the steel has been slowly cooled from a temperature ranging between 1500 degrees to 1550
degrees F. Heat treatment E is especially adapted to crankshafts and similar parts. Heat treatment H is also commonly
applied to this quality of steel.

Hardness. -- The various degrees of hardness conforming to the heat treatments listed in the table "Physical Properties
of Heat-treated Carbon Steels" are as follows: For a re-heating temperature of 400 degrees F., 300 Brinell and 45
scleroscope; for a re-heating temperature of 900 degrees F., 230 Brinell and 40 scleroscope; for a re-heating
temperature of 1400 degrees F., 160 Brinell and 35 scleroscope.

Ninety-five Per Cent Carbon Steel (Specification No. 1095). -- This grade of steel is generally used for springs, and
when properly heat treated very good results are possible. The physical characteristics of heat-treated spring steel are
best determined by transverse tests, because steel as hard as tempered spring steel is difficult to hold in the jaws of
tensile testing machine. There is more or less slip and also side strains, all of which tends to produce misleading
results.

Heat treatment. -- Heat treatment F is recommended. It should be understood that the higher the drawing temperature,
the lower the yield point, but if the material is drawn to too low a temperature it will be brittle. A few practical trials
will indicate the best temper for any given shape or size of spring. The elastic limit of steel subjected to heat treatment
F, as determined by transverse tests, varies from 90,000 to 180,000 pounds per square inch.

Nickel Steel -- 0.15 Per Cent Carbon (Specification No. 2315). -- This steel, containing 0.15 per cent carbon and 3.5
per cent nickel, is suitable for carburizing purposes and will produce parts with exceedingly strong and tough cores
combined with a high-carbon exterior. This steel may also be used for structural purposes, although it should not be
selected for such a purpose when ordering materials, as much better results will be obtained with a nickel steel higher
in carbon. The 0.15 per cent carbon nickel steel is intended for casehardened gears of transmission systems and for
other casehardened parts requiring a very tough, strong steel with a hardened outer surface. The composition of this
steel and of others having a higher carbon content, may be obtained from the accompanying table "S. A. E.
Specifications for Nickel and Nickel-chromium Steels." When used for structural purposes, the physical characteristics
will range about as given in the table "Physical Properties of Annealed and Heat-treated Alloy Steels," which also
includes various other alloy steels referred to later.

Heat treatment. -- Alloy steels in general should be heat-treated and not be used in an annealed or natural condition,
because the advantage of an annealed alloy steel as compared with a plain carbon steel is as a rule not in proportion
with the increased cost. By means of heat treatment, however, there is a very marked improvement in physical
characteristics.

The method of casehardening nickel steel No. 2315 may be varied considerably. As a rule, those parts which are made
of nickel steel requiere the best treatment for casehardening. Heat treatment G is recommended. The second quenching
(operation 6) should be at the lowest temperature at which the material will harden, which is sometimes below 1300
degrees F. The final drawing (operation 7) may be omitted in some cases. Parts of intricate shape with abrupt changes
of thickness, sharp corners, etc. (especially sliding gears), should always be drawn to relieve internal strains.

Nickel Steel -- 0.20 Per Cent Carbon (Specification No. 2320). -- This steel, containing 0.20 per cent carbon and 3.5
per cent nickel, may be used interchangeably with steel No. 2315. The former, although intended primarily for
casehardening, may properly be used for structural parts, and when suitably heat treated, will give elastic limits
somewhat higher than the nickel steel containing 0.15 per cent carbon.

Heat treatment. -- For casehardening heat treatment G is recommended, and for structural purposes heat treatment H

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Heat Treatment of Steel

or K. The quenching temperatures, as with other steels, may be modified to meet individual cases.

Hardness. -- The various degrees of hardness conforming to the heat treatments listed in the table "Physical Properties
of Heat-treated Alloy Steels" are as follows: For a re-heating temperature of 400 degrees F., 375 Brinell and 55
scleroscope; for a re-heating temperature of 900 degrees F., 280 Brinell and 42 scleroscope; for a re-heating
temperature of 1400 degrees F., 125 Brinell and 28 scleroscope.

Nickel Steel -- 0.30 Per Cent Carbon (Specification No. 2330). -- This steel containing 0.30 per cent carbon and 3.5
per cent nickel, is intended primarily for heat-treated structural parts when strength and toughness are desired, as in the
case of axles, front wheel spindles, crankshafts, driving shafts and transmission shafts. The physical characteristics of
this steel are practically the same as those of No. 2320, slight modifications in the heat treatment much more than
offsetting the slight difference in carbon content.

Heat treatment. -- Heat treatment H may be employed, although a higher refinement may be obtained by heat
treatment K. Wide variations of yield point or elastic limit are possible by the use of different quenching mediums (oil,
water, or brine) and by varying the drawing temperatures from 500 up to 1200 degrees F.

Hardness. -- The various degrees of hardness conforming to the heat treatments listed in the table "Physical Properties
of Heat-treated Alloy Steels" are as follows: For a re-heating temperature of 400 degrees F., Brinell 436 and
scleroscope 60; for a re-heating temperature of 900 degrees F., Brinell 300 and scleroscope 46; for a re-heating
temperature of 1400 degrees F., Brinell 150 and scleroscope 30.

Nickel Steel -- 0.35 Per Cent Carbon (Specification No. 2335). -- The preceding remarks regarding nickel steel No.
2330 may also be applied to this steel which contains 3.5 per cent nickel and 0.35 per cent carbon. It will respond a
little more sharply to heat treatment, and can be forced to higher elastic limits.

Nickel Steel -- 0.40 Per Cent Carbon (Specification No. 2340). -- This steel, containing 0.40 per cent carbon and 3.5
per cent nickel, is not used extensively. As the carbon content is higher than generally used, greater hardness is
obtained by quenching and as this is accompanied by increased brittleness, the treatments must be modified to meet
this condition. For example, the final quenching may be at a relatively low temperature and the final drawing
temperature must be determined carefully in order to produce the desired toughness and other physical characteristics.

Nickel-chromium Steel -- 0.20 Per Cent Carbon (Specification No. 3120). -- By referring to the accompanying
table, "S. A. E. Specifications for Nickel and Nickel-chromium Steels," it will be seen that there are five nickel-
chromium steels (specifications Nos. 3120 to 3140 inclusive) which differ as to carbon content but have the same
percentage of manganese, nickel and chromium. The nickel-chromium steel conforming to specification No. 3120 is
intended primarily for case-hardening, and it may also be used for structural parts if suitably heat-treated. This steel
should not be used in a natural or untreated condition.

The four grades of steel conforming to specification numbers 3125, 3130, 3135 and 3140 are intended for structural
purposes, and are used in a heat-treated condition. Steels Nos. 3125 and 3130 may be used for casehardening.

Heat treatment. -- In general, the heat treatments and the properties resulting from them are much the same for nickel-
chromium steels as for plain nickel steels, except that the effects of heat treatment are somewhat augmented by the
chromium and increase with increasing amounts of nickel and chromium. Steel conforming to specification No. 3120
is casehardened by heat treatment G, and when used in structural parts is given heat treatment H or D. Heat treatment
H, D or E is applied to steels Nos. 3125, 3130, 3135 and 3140.

Other Nickel-chromium Steels. -- The important applications of the other nickel-chromium steels listed in the table
"S. A. E. Specifications for Nickel and Nickel-chromium Steels" are as follows: Specification No. 3220. -- This steel is
intended for casehardened parts, but when this grade of steel is required, very careful heat treatment is necessary, heat
treatment G being recommended. This same steel may also be used for structural purposes, in which case it should
receive heat treatment H or D.
Specification No. 3230. -- This grade of nickel-chromium steel is intended for the most important structural parts and
should be used only in a heat-treated condition. Heat treatment H or D is recommended.

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Heat Treatment of Steel

Specification No. 3240. -- This quality of steel is suitable for structural parts requiring unusual strength. Higher elastic
limit is possible with a given heat treatment than in the case of a steel like No. 3230. The toughness will not be quite
as great, but the steel is applicable where strength rather than toughness is the controlling factor. Heat treatment H or
D is recommended.
Specification No. 3250. -- This steel is intended for gears requiring extreme strength and hardness. Either heat
treatment M or Q should be applied, Q giving the better results.
Specification No. 3415. -- This steel is intended primarily for casehardening. It is considerably higher in nickel than the
nickel-chromium steels previously referred to. Heat treatment G should be followed unless the steel is used for
structural parts, when heat treatment M is applied.
Specification No. 3435. -- This steel is intended for very important structural parts such as crankshafts, axles, spindles,
driving shafts and transmission shafts. Heat treatment P or R is recommended. This steel is not intended for
casehardening.
Specification No. 3450. -- This quality of steel may also be used for gears requiring extreme strength and hardness.
Heat treatment R should be used, although heat treatment P is also applicable.
Specification No. 3320. -- The remarks made in connection with No. 3220 apply to this steel also. There is no
appreciable difference in the physical characteristics. Heat treatment L should be used for carburizing.
Specification No. 3330. -- This steel, like 3230, is intended for very important structural parts. The high nickel and
chromium contents make it exceedingly tough and strong when treated according to heat treatment P or R.
Specification No. 3340. -- This steel is suitable for gears to be hardened without carburizing. The remarks made in
connection with steel No. 3240 and 3250 apply. Heat treatment L should be used.

Chromium Steels. -- Four grades of chromium steels are included in the accompanying table "S. A. E. Specifications
for Chromium and Chromium-vanadium Steels". Chromium steel No. 5120 is a casehardening grade of much better
quality than carbon steel and is similar in this respect to nickel steel No. 2320 and nickel-chromium steel No. 3120.
Heat treatment B is recommended for steel No. 5120. Chromium steel No. 5140 is similar to nickel-chromium steel
No. 3140. When given heat treatment H or D, it is suitable for high-duty shafting, etc. The drawing temperature should
be moderately high, in order to secure a safe degree of toughness.

Physical Properties of Heat-Treated Carbon Steels


(From Reports of Iron and Steel Division -- Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.)
Physical Properties -- Average Minimum Values given *
Range of Range of
Carbon Manganese Re- Tensile
Heating Elastic Reduction Elongation in
Content, Per Content, Per heating Strength,
Temp., LImit, Lbs. of Area, 2 Inches, Per
Cent Cent Temp., Lbs. per Sq.
Deg. F. per Sq. In. Per Cent. Cent
Deg. F. In.
400 80,000 50,000 60.0 20.0
1560-
0.15-0.25 0.30-0.60 900 75,000 42,500 65.0 26.5
1580
1400 70,000 35,000 70.0 32.5
400 90,000 60,000 55.0 17.0
1540-
0.20-0.30 0.50-0.80 900 82,500 50,000 61.0 23.5
1560
1400 75,000 40,00 67.5 30.0
400 105,000 75,000 42.5 15.0
1510-
0.30-0.40 0.50-0.80 900 94,000 63,000 52.5 21.5
1530
1400 82,000 50,000 62.5 28.0
400 125,000 90,000 35.0 12.5
1490-

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Heat Treatment of Steel

0.40-0.5 0.50-0.80 900 110,000 75,000 45.0 17.5


1510
1400 95,000 60,000 55.0 22.5
* These values apply to round specimens varying from 1/2 to 1-1/2 inch in diameter, which were heated from fifteen
to thirty minutes, quenched in oil, re-heated for thirty minutes at the temperature given in the table, and finally cooled
in air.

Chromium-vanadium Steels. -- The specifications of eight different grades are given in the table "S. A. E.
Specifications for Chromium and Chromium-vanadium Steels." The principal applications of these steels are as
follows:
Specification No. 6120. -- This quality of steel is intended primarily for casehardening. It is used for the most
important parts, such as casehardened shafts, gears, etc. While this steel may be used in a heat-treated condition for
structural purposes, some of the steels referred to in the following are preferable, particularly where greater strength is
desired. Heat treatment S is recommended for casehardening and heat treatment for structural parts.
Specification No. 6125. -- The difference between this steel and No. 6120 is very slight, and they may be used
interchangeably for structural purposes. This steel may be casehardened, but it is not first choice for this purpose.
Specification No. 6130. -- This steel can be used interchangeably with No. 6125 for structural purposes, but it should
not be used for casehardening. When subjected to heat treatment T, it possesses a high degree of combined strength
and toughness.
Specification No. 6135. -- This specification provides an excellent quality of steel for structural parts that are to be
heat-treated. The fatigue-resisting or endurance qualities of this steel are very good. Heat treatment T is recommended.

Specification No. 6140. -- This is a very good quality of steel for use where a high degree of strength is desired in
conjunction with considerable toughness. Its fatigue-resisting qualities are very high, and it is a first-class material for
high-duty shafts. Heat treatment T is recommended.
Specification No. 6145. -- This quality of steel contains sufficient carbon in combination with chromium and vanadium
to harden to a considerable degree when quenched at a suitable temperature, and it may be used for gears and springs.
For gears this steel should be annealed after forging and before machining, the annealing being done by following
operations 1 and 2 of heat treatment U. For structural parts requiring great strength, heat treatment T is recommended.
Specification No. 6150. -- The remarks regarding steel No. 6145 apply to this steel. It is suitable for springs, and when
given the right heat treatment, very high elastic limits are obtained. For spring material, heat treatment U is
recommended, except that the last drawing (operation 6) temperature should be higher -- probably from 700 degrees to
1100 degrees F. -- the temperature varying with the section of the material.

Silico-manganese Steels. -- The two silico-manganese steels listed in the accompanying table of specifications have
been standardized by usage principally as spring steel. No. 9260 is also used to some extent for gears. Neither steel is
suitable for use without heat treatment. The two specifications are given to meet the requirements of, first, those
manufacturers believing in relatively low-carbon and high-silicon steel, and those desiring higher carbon and lower
silicon.

Physical Properties of Heat-treated Alloy Steels


Nickel Steels

Range of Range of Physical Properties -- Average Minimum Values given *


Carbon Nickel Heating Re-heating Tensile Elastic Reduction Elongation in
Content, Per Content, Per Temp., Temp., Strength, Lbs. LImit, Lbs. of Area, Per 2 Inches, Per
Cent Cent Deg. F. Deg. F. per Sq. In. per Sq. In. Cent. Cent
400 170,000 140,000 45.0 11
1510-
0.15-0.25 900 130,000 99,000 60.5 21.5
1540
1400 70,000 40,000 75.0 30

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Heat Treatment of Steel

400 220,000 190,000 35.0 10.0


1485-
0.25-0.35 3.25-3.75 900 140,000 115,000 54.0 16.0
1515
1400 80,000 50,000 70.0 25.0
400 240,000 215,000 32.5 10.0
1534-
0.35-0.45 900 155,000 130,000 51.0 16.0
1465
1400 90,000 60,000 62.5 22.5
Nickel-Chromium Steels
400 160,000 120,000 52.5 15.0
1585-
0.15-0.25 900 111,000 84,000 69.0 21.0
1615
1400 75,000 50,000 72.5 35.0
400 190,000 155,000 37.5 10.0
1535-
0.25-0.35 1.00-1.50 900 134,000 102,000 63.0 17.5
1565
1400 80,000 70,000 70.0 30.0
400 230,000 200,000 27.0 7.5
1485-
0.35-0.45 900 157,000 126,000 46.5 14.0
1515
1400 90,000 75,000 62.0 20.0

Physical Properties of Annealed and Heat-treated Alloy Steels


Annealed Heat-treated
S.A.E. Yield Point, Reduction of Elongation in Heat Yield Point, Reduction of
Spec. Elongation in
Lbs. per Sq. Area, Per 2 in., Per Treatment Lbs. per Sq. Area, Per
2 in., Per Cent
In. Cent Cent Letter # In. Cent
Nickel Steels
35,000- 40,000-
2315 65-45 35-25 H or K 65-40 35-15
45,000 80,000
40,000- 50,000-
2320 65-40 30-20 H or K 65-40 25-10
50,000 125,000
40,000- 60,000-
2330 60-40 30-20 H or K 60-30 25-10
50,000 130,000
45,000- 65,000-
2335 55-35 25-15 H or K 55-25 25-10
55,000 160,000
55,000- 70,000-
2340 50-30 25-15 H or K 55-15 25- 5
65,000 200,000
Nickel-Chromium Steels
30,000- 40,000-
3120 55-40 35-25 H or D 65-40 25-15
40,000 100,000

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Heat Treatment of Steel

40,000- 50,000-
3125 50-35 30-20 H, D or E 55-25 25-10
55,000 125,000
40,000- 50,000-
3130 50-35 30-20 H, D or E 55-25 25-10
55,000 125,000
45,000- 55,000-
3135 45-30 25-15 H, D or E 50-25 20- 5
60,000 150,000
45,000- 55,000-
3140 45-30 25-15 H, D or E 50-25 20- 5
60,000 150,000
35,000- 45,000-
3220 60-45 25-20 H or D 65-30 20- 5
45,000 120,000
40,000- 60,000-
3230 55-40 25-15 H or D 60-30 20- 5
50,000 175,000
45,000- 65,000-
3240 50-40 25-15 H or D 50-20 15- 2
60,000 200,000
50,000- 150,000-
3250 50-40 25-15 M or Q 25-15 15- 2
60,000 200,000
35,000- 40,000-
3415 60-45 25-20 M 65-30 20- 5
45,000 100,000
45,000- 60,000-
3435 55-40 25-15 P or R 60-30 20- 5
55,000 175,000
Chromium-Vanadium Steels
40,000- 55,000-
6120 65-50 30-20 T 65-45 25-10
50,000 100,000
40,000- 55,000-
6125 65-50 30-20 T 65-45 25-10
50,000 100,000
45,000- 60,000-
6130 60-50 25-20 T 55-25 15- 5
55,000 150,000
45,000- 60,000-
6135 60-50 25-20 T 55-25 15- 5
55,000 150,000
50,000- 65,000-
6140 55-45 25-15 T 50-15 15- 2
60,000 175,000
55,000- 150,000-
6145 55-40 25-15 U 25-10 10- 2
65,000 200,000
60,000- 150,000-
6150 50-35 20-15 U 35-15 10- 2
70,000 225,000
Silico-Manganese Steels
55,000- 60,000-
9250 45-30 25-20 V 40-10 20- 5
65,000 180,000
55,000- 60,000-
9260 45-30 25-20 V 40-10 20- 5
65,000 180,000

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Heat Treatment of Steel

High-Chromium or "Stainless" Steel. --

Heat treatment. --

Heat treatment for Valves. --

Comparison of Physical Properties for High-Chromium Steels of


Different Carbon Content.
Composition
Heat Treatments
and C 0.20 C 0.27 C 0.50
Physical Properties Mn 0.45 Mn 0.50
Cr 12.56 Cr 12.24 Cr 14.84
Quenched in oil from degrees F. 1600 1600 1650
Tempered at degrees F. 1160 1080 1100
Yield point, lb. per sq. in. 78300 75000 91616
Tensile strength, lb. per sq. in. 104600 104250 123648
Elongation in 2 in., per cent 25.0 23.5 14.5
Reduction of area, per cent 52.5 51.4 33.5

Cobaltcrom Steel. -- This is a tungstenless alloy steel or high-speed steel which contains approximately 1.5 per cent
carbon, 12.5 per cent chromium, and 3.5 per cent cobalt. Tools such as dies, milling cutters, etc., made from
cobaltcrom steel can be cast to shape in suitable molds, the teeth of cutters being formed so that it is necessary only to
grind them.

Before the blanks can be machined, they must be annealed; this operation is performed by pack-annealing at the
temperature of 1800 degrees F., for a period of from three to six hours, according to the size of the castings being
annealed. The following directions are given for the hardening of blanking and trimming dies, milling cutters, and
similar tools made from cobaltcrom steel: Heat slowly in a hardening furnace to about 1830 degrees F., and hold the
temperature at this point until the tools are thoroughly soaked. Then reduce the temperature about 50 degrees,
withdraw the tools from the furnace, and allow them to cool in the atmosphere. As soon as the red color disappears
from the cooling tool, place it in quenching oil until cold. The slight drop of 50 degrees in temperature while the tool is
still in the hardening furnace is highly important in order to obtain proper results. The steel will be injured if the tool is
heated above 1860 degrees F. In cooling milling cutters or other rotary tools, it is suggested that they be suspended on
a wire to insure a uniform rate of cooling.

Tools that are subjected to shocks or vibration, such as pneumatic rivet sets, shear blades, etc., should be heated slowly
to 1650 degrees F., after which the temperature should be reduced to about 1610 degrees F., at which point the tool
should be removed from the furnace and permitted to cool in the atmosphere. There is no appreciable scaling present
in the hardening of cobaltcrom steel tools.

General Properties of Alloy Steels. -- Alloy or "special" steels are combinations of iron and carbon with some other
element, such as nickel, chromium, tungsten, vanadium, manganese and molybdenum. All of these metals give certain
distinct properties to the steel, but in all cases the principal quality is the increase in hardness and toughness.

Nickel steel usually contains from 3 to 3.5 per cent nickel (ordinarily not over 5 per cent), and from 0.20 to 0.40 per
cent carbon. This steel is used for armor plate, ammunition, bridge construction, rails, etc. One of the reasons why
nickel steel is adapted for armor plate is that it does not crack when perforated by a projectile. The Krupp steel used
for armor plate contains approximately 3.5 per cent nickel, 1.5 per cent chromium and 0.25 per cent carbon. The

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Heat Treatment of Steel

advantages claimed for nickel steel for railroad rails are its increased resistance to abrasion and high elastic limit. On
sharp curves, it has been estimated that a nickel steel rail will outlast four ordinary rails.

Chromium steel is well adapted for armor-piercing projectiles, owing to its hardness, toughness and stiffness, and is
extensively used for this purpose. Chromium steel is also used in the construction of safes and for castings subjected to
unusually severe stresses, such as those used in rock-crushing machinery, etc. The percentage of chromium used in
chromium steels varies over quite a wide range in the low-chromium and high-chromium steels.

Tungsten steel is largely employed for high-speed metal cutting tools and magnet steels. It has also been used in the
manufacture of armor plate and armor-piercing projectiles, in which case it is combined either with nickel or
chromium or with both of these metals. The property that tunsten imparts to steel is that of hardening in the air, after
heating to the required temperature. This steel usually contains 5 to 15 per cent tungsten (although the percentage is
sometimes as high as 24 per cent) and from 0.4 to 2 per cent carbon.

Vanadium steels ordinarily contain 0.16 to 0.25 per cent vanadium. The effect of vanadium is to increase the tensile
strength and elastic limit, and it gives the steel the valuable property of resisting, to an unusual degree, repeated
stresses. Vanadium steel is especially adapted for springs, car axles, gears subjected to severe service, and for all parts
which must withstand constant vibration and varying stresses.

Manganese steel (also known as Hadfield managanese steel) contains about 12 per cent manganese and from 0.8 to
1.25 per cent carbon. If there is only 1.5 per cent manganese, the steel is very brittle, and additional manganese
increases this brittleness until the quantity has reached 4 to 5.5 per cent, when the steel can be pulverized under the
hammer. With a further increase of manganese, the steel becomes ductile and very hard, these qualities being at there
highest degree when the manganese content is 12 per cent. The ductility of the steel is brought out by sudden cooling,
the process being opposite that employed for carbon steel.

Molybdenum steels have properties similar to tungsten steels, except that a smaller quantity of molybdenum than of
tungsten is required to secure corresponding results.

Screw Stock. -- The composition of ordinary screw stock should be, in general, about as follows: Carbon, from 0.08
to 0.20 per cent; manganese, 0.30 o 0.80 per cent; phosphorus, not to exceed 0.12 per cent; sulphur, 0.06 to 0.12 per
cent. Screw stock is easily machined and cheap, but lacks strength and toughness and is not safe for vital parts. Screws
made from hot-rolled bars of this material should be heat-treated and not used in an annealed condition. Screws made
from cold-rolled bars are much stronger, but the best results, in either case, are obtained by the following heat
treatment: After machining, heat to 1500 degrees F.; quench; re-heat from 600 degrees to 1300 degrees F., and cool
slowly.

TESTING THE HARDNESS OF METALS

is the next section, and I'll consider typing it up. But gimme some feedback first.

Later -- I got some feedback, after a couple of years, from someone who would like to see that next section, and
though it's just one person, I'll guess that it would be useful to more. So I'll get started soon. (This paragraph written
6/29/98)

Further: 4/24/00, got another request. Total of two. OK, I'll start on it.
Here's the link:Testing the Hardness of Metals

Detailed table of contents


First section: Furnaces and Baths for Heating Steel
Previous section: Casehardening
Comments to: ebear@zianet.com (Eric Bear Albrecht)
My home page

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Testing the Hardness of Metals

Testing the Hardness of Metals

This is from the 1924 edition of Machinery's Handbook, which I inherited from my granduncle Carl Granberg, a tool
& die maker who came to the US from Sweden. He worked for Studebaker for 40 years and never missed a day. (He
was late once, about ten minutes -- the snow was pretty deep that day; nobody else even tried.)

"Machinery", which I guess was a magazine, was published by The Industrial Press, New York; it was subtitled "The
Open Window to the Machinery Industry".

The 1924 edition of Machinery's Handbook has 1592 pages. The copyright has expired.

DISCLAIMER: DON'T WRITE FOR ADVICE ON THIS STUFF. I DON'T HAVE ANY. -- I just had the book and
figured that some of the material in it would be useful to a far wider audience than would see it on my bookshelf.

TESTING THE HARDNESS OF METALS

Different Methods of Hardness Testing. -- There are four typical methods for testing the hardness of metals. These
are the sclerometer method introduced by Turner in 1896; the scleroscope method recently invented by Shore; the
indentation test adopted by Brinell about 1900; and the drill test introduced by Keep a few years earlier. The principles
underlying each of the four methods are briefly described in the following:

Turner's Sclerometer. -- In this form of test a weighted diamond point is drawn, once forward and once backward,
over the smooth surface of the material to be tested. The hardness number is the weight in grams required to produce a
standard scratch. The scratch selected is one which is just visible to the naked eye as a dark line on a bright reflecting
surface. It is also the scratch which can just be felt with the edge of a quill when the latter is drawn over the smooth
surface at right angles to a series of such scratches produced by regularly increasing weights.

Shore's Scleroscope. -- In this instrument, a small cylinder of steel, with a hardened point, is allowed to fall upon the
smooth surface of the metal to be tested, and the height of the rebound of the hammer is taken as the measure of
hardness. The hammer weighs about 40 grains, the height of the rebound of hardened steel is in the neighborhood of
100 on the scale, or about 6-1/4 inches, while the total fall is about 10 inches or 254 millimeters.

Brinell's Test. -- In this method, a hardened steel ball is pressed into the smooth surface of the metal so as to make an
indentation of a size such as can be conveniently measured under the microscope. The spherical area of the indentation
being calculated and the pressure being known, the stress per unit of area when the ball comes to rest is calculated, and
the hardness number obtained. Within certain limits, the value obtained is independent of the size of the ball and of the
amount of pressure.

Keep's Test. -- In this form of apparatus a standard steel drill is caused to make a definite number of revolutions
while it is pressed with standard force against the specimen to be tested. The hardness is automatically recorded on a
diagram on which a dead soft material gives a horizontal line, while a material as hard as the drill itself gives a vertical
line, intermediate hardness being represented by the corresponding angle between 0 and 90 degrees.

Hardness Scales Compared


Metal Sclerometer Scleroscope Brinell Method * Mohs's Scale for Minerals
Lead 1.0 1.0 1.0
Tin 2.5 3.0 2.5
Talc -- 1
Zinc 6.0 7.0 7.5 Gypsum -- 2
Copper, soft 8.0 8.0 ... Calcite -- 3
Fluor Spar -- 4
Copper, hard ... 12.0 12.0
Apatite -- 5
Softest Iron 15.0 ... 14.5 Orthoclase -- 6

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Testing the Hardness of Metals

Mild steel 21.0 22.0 16 - 24 Quartz -- 7


Topaz -- 8
Soft cast iron 21 - 24 24.0 24.0
Sapphire
Rail steel 24.0 27.0 26 - 35    or
Hard cast iron 36.0 40.0 35.0 Corundum -- 9
Diamond -- 10
Hard white iron 72.0 70.0 75.0
Hardened steel ... 95.0 93.0
*Actual numerals have been divided by 6 for purposes of comparison.

Comparison between Testing Methods. -- Each form of test has its advantages and its limitations. The sclerometer is
cheap, portable, and easily applied, but it is not applicable to materials which do not possess a fairly smooth reflecting
surface and the standard scratch is only definitely recognized after some experience. The Short test is simple, rapid and
definite for materials for which it is suited, but results obtained vary somewhat with the size and thickness of the
sample. As a comparative measure of the hardness of material of the same quality and structure, however, it is quite
accurate, but it is not reliable for comparing the hardness of two different metals. The Brinell test is especially useful
for constructive materials. It is definite, and, with the new appliances recently brought out, easily applied. It cannot be
applied, however, to very brittle materials, such as glass, nor is it satisfactory for use on hardened high-carbon steel.
Keep's test is especially suited for castings of all kinds, as it records not only the surface hardness, but also the
hardness of the whole thickness, and gives indications of blow-holes, hard streaks and spongy places. Obviously, it
cannot be applied to materials too hard to be conveniently drilled by a hardened steel drill.

The accompanying table gives values obtained on the same materials by the scleroscope, sclerometer, and the Brinell
test, the figures being reduced to a common unit, assumed as 1 as a starting point; thus the actual Brinell numerals
have been divided by 6, thereby reducing the hardness values for purposes of comparison.
1st column: Diameter of Impression, mm.
2nd column: Hardness Numeral for 3000 kg pressure
3rd column: Hardness Numeral for 500 kg pressure
Dia. Pressure Dia. Pressure Dia. Pressure Dia. Pressure Dia.
Pressure
in 3000 500 in 3000 500 in 3000 500 in 3000 500 in 3000
500
mm kg kg mm kg kg mm kg kg mm kg kg mm kg
kg
---- --- --- ---- --- -- ---- --- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- ---
----
2.00 946 158 3.00 418 70 4.00 228 38.0 5.00 143 23.8 6.00 95
15.9
2.05 898 150 3.05 402 67 4.05 223 37.0 5.05 140 23.3 6.05 94
15.6
2.10 857 143 3.10 387 65 4.10 217 36.0 5.10 137 22.8 6.10 92
15.3
2.15 817 136 3.15 375 63 4.15 212 35.0 5.15 134 22.3 6.15 90
15.1
2.20 782 130 3.20 364 61 4.20 207 34.5 5.20 131 21.8 6.20 89
14.8
2.25 744 124 3.25 351 59 4.25 202 33.6 5.25 128 21.5 6.25 87
14.5
2.30 713 119 3.30 340 57 4.30 196 32.6 5.30 126 21.0 6.30 86
14.3
2.35 683 114 3.35 332 55 4.35 192 32.0 5.35 124 20.6 6.35 84
14.0
2.40 652 109 3.40 321 54 4.40 187 31.2 5.40 121 20.1 6.40 82
13.8
2.45 627 105 3.45 311 52 4.45 183 30.4 5.45 118 19.7 6.45 81
13.5
2.50 600 100 3.50 302 50 4.50 179 29.7 5.50 116 19.3 6.50 80
13.3
2.55 578 96 3.55 293 49 4.55 174 29.1 5.55 114 19.0 6.55 79
13.1
2.60 555 93 3.60 286 48 4.60 170 28.4 5.60 112 18.3 6.60 77
12.8
2.65 532 89 3.65 277 46 4.65 166 27.8 5.65 109 18.2 6.65 76
12.6
2.70 512 86 3.70 269 45 4.70 163 27.2 5.70 107 17.8 6.70 74
12.4

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Testing the Hardness of Metals

2.75 495 83 3.75 262 44 4.75 159 26.5 5.75 105 17.5 6.75 73
12.2
2.80 477 80 3.80 255 43 4.80 156 25.9 5.80 103 17.2 6.80 71.5
11.9
2.85 460 77 3.85 248 41 4.85 153 25.4 5.85 101 16.9 6.85 70
11.7
2.90 444 74 3.90 241 40 4.90 149 24.9 5.90 99 16.6 6.90 69
11.5
2.95 430 73 3.95 235 39 4.95 146 24.4 5.95 97 16.2 6.95 68
11.3

Application of the Brinell Method. -- The Brinell method, as mentioned, consist in partly forcing a hardened steel
ball into the sample to be tested so as to effect a slight spherical impression. The diameter of the impression is
measured and the surface of the spherical cavity calculated. The pressure required in kilograms for effecting the
impression is divided by the area of the impression in square millimeters; the quotient is an expression of the hardness
of the material tested, and is called the hardness numeral. The standard diameter of the ball is 10 millimeters (0.3937
inch) and the pressure, 3000 kilograms (6614 pounds) in the case of iron and steel, while in the case of softer metals, a
pressure of 500 kilograms (1102 pounds) is used. The diameter of the impression in the original instrument is
measured by means of a microscope, after which the hardness numeral may be obtained without calculation directly
from the table of "Hardness Numerals -- Brinell System". Instruments have been constructed later so as to eliminate
the need of the use of a microscope for measuring the diameter of the impression.

Relation between Hardness of Materials and Ultimate Strength. -- A constant relationship exists between the
hardness numeral as determined by the Brinell test and the ultimate strength of the material tested. The coefficients by
which the hardness numerals must be multiplied to obtain the ultimate strength in kilograms per square millimeter may
be determined by tests, and are constant for each class and kind of material, but they differ slightly for different
materials and for materials treated in a different manner. The following coefficients are given for different grades of
steel:
Steels, extra soft K = 0.360
Steels, soft and semi-hard K = 0.355
Steels, semi-hard K = 0.353
Steels, hard K = 0.349

It will be seen that these coefficients differ by but a slight amount for steel of different composition, and, as a general
rule, the factor 0.355 may be used for all grades of steel.
Example: -- Assume that a hardness test of structural steel (semi-hard) by the Brinell method gave an impression of
4.6 millimeters. The hardness numeral, from the table, would be 170, and the ultimate strength, 0.355 x 170 = 60
kilograms per square millimeter.

Accuracy of Brinell Hardness Test. -- When commercial apparatus, as ordinarily used for making the Brinell test, is
employed, and the test is carried out with ordinary care and precaution, it is reliable within an error of five Brinell
units above or below the actual hardness. In other words, if the hardness of two pieces of metal is tested, and the
difference on the Brinell scale is more than ten hardness units, it is certain that there is an absolute difference in the
hardness of the pieces tested. With regard to the conditions under which the tests should be made, it may be stated that
the pressure should be gradually applied for two minutes or more, and the pressure should be kept on the test piece for
a period of at least five minutes.

Relation between Hardness and Wear of Steel. -- There is no definite relation between hardness, as measured by the
Brinell hardness testing method, and wear. While, in general, a high Brinell hardness number may be expected to
indicate a metal which will give better wear, there are so many exceptions that this test for indication wearing
properties would be unreliable. As an example, Hadfield's manganese steel,which has a low Brinell hardness number,
is one of the best steels as far as wear is concerned. The relation of either Brinell tests of ordinary wear tests to wear in
actual practice is a subject which requires further investigation. Wear tests should be made along different lines,
according to the actual uses to which the metal is to be put.

Hardness Scales Compared


Scleroscope Hardness Scale *
Name of Metal Annealed Hammered

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Testing the Hardness of Metals

Lead (cast) 2-5 3-7


Babbitt metal 4-9
Gold 5 8.5
Silver 6.5 20 - 30
Brass (cast) 7 - 35
Pure tin (cast) 8
Brass (drawn) 10 - 15 24 - 25
Bismuth (cast) 9
Platinum 10 17
Copper (cast) 6 14 - 20
Zinc (cast) 8 20
Iron, pure 18 25 - 30
Mild steel, 0.15 per cent carbon 22 30 - 45
Nickel anode (cast) 31 55
Iron, gray (cast) 30 - 45
Iron, gray (chilled) 50 - 90
Steel, tool, 1 per cent carbon 30 - 35 40 - 50
Steel, tool, 1.65 per cent carbon 35 - 40
Vanadium steel 35 - 45
Chrome - nickel steel 47
Chrome - nickel steel (hardened) 60 - 95
Steel, high - speed (hardened) 70 - 105
Steel, carbon tool (hardened) 70 - 105
* The figures given are subject to variation, owing to the differences in composition of the metals tested.

Next section in the book: Principles of Iron and Steel Manufacture.


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