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Most common heat treatment defects ,Causes

&
Remedies:


Heat Treatment and Material Testing
Insufficient
hardness
Causes: Decarburization

Remedies:

Sufficient machining stock (pre-existing decarburization).
Heat the tools protected by appropriate antidecarburizing
media or heat in a salt bath, protective atmosphere,
possibly in a vacuum furnace.
Insufficient
hardness
Causes: Low hardening temperature or too
fast, uneven heating

Remedies:

Check the control instruments. Where possible,
anneal or repeat the hardening treatment.
Insufficient
hardness
Causes: Insufficient soaking at hardening
temperature

Remedies:
The holding times at hardening temperature
refer to the condition in which the temperature has
been reached evenly throughout the entire section
(need for preheating). Where possible, anneal and
repeat the hardening treatment.
Insufficient
hardness
Causes: Cooling rate:
a) unsuitable cooling medium for the grade of steel;
b) insufficient cooling capacity, air not sufficiently
ventilated;
c) parts covered by films that form insulating layers.

Remedies:
Check the prescriptions of the steel supplier. The relationship
between the volume of the cooling medium and the tool must
be at least 5 : 1 with cooling recirculation. In the case of
cooling in air, increase ventilation. Avoid formation of oxide,
layers of steam (soft areas).
Insufficient
hardness
Causes: Tempering temperature too high.

Remedies:
Anneal the tools and repeat the heat treatment
controlling the tempering temperature.
Uneven hardness
Causes: Formation of bubbles of steam during
cooling pack hardened tools scale
patch decarburiz. imperfect cleaning of the
surfaces.

Remedies:
Stirring of the bath.
Appropriate dipping method.
Clean the parts thoroughly before heating.
Excess surface
hardness
Causes: During hardening heating, a carburizing
and embrittlement effect occurs, surface
cracks
Remedies:
Check the activity of the anti-decarburization
media (they must not be carburizing) and of the
inoculants of the salt bath or of the protective
atmospheres.

Brittleness
Causes: Excessive hardness-insufficient
tempering.
Overheating (coarse fracture and bright
grain).
Remedies:
Increase the temperature and tempering holding
time.
Harden at lower temperature reduce holding time
at tempering temperature.
Deformations
Causes: Uneven heating.
Too fast cooling.
Part incorrectly supported in furnace.
Incorrect dipping in quenching bath.
Stresses present before heat treatment.
Remedies:
Preheat check furnace capacity.
Change to step quenching reduce the hardening temperature.
Check the supports if possible heat vertically.
Review method of dipping tools during cooling.
Perform suitable stress relieving after rough machining.
Fractures during Cooling
Causes: Uneven heating
Too fast cooling.
Overheating.
Remedies:
Preheat.
Select the cooling medium according to the shape
of the tool and hardenability of the steel.
Reduce the hardening temperature.
Fractures during
quenching cooling
(before tempering)
Causes: Incomplete transformations that continue
with the tool cold.
Retained austenite.
Keep the non-tempered part in a cold
environment.
Remedies:
Temper immediately after hardening.
Where possible, carry out a suitable treatment to
complete the transformation.
Cracks after
tempering
Causes:
Insertion of the tools in the furnace without
preheating for tempering.
Remedies:
For tempering at high temperatures, preheat
the tools to 200 - 300 C