Essentials of Heat Treatment of Steel 211

"Essentials of Heat Treatment" provides a through introduction to steel heat treatment, including a discussion of how heat and carbon content impact a steel's microstructure. This class also describes common heat treating methods, such as annealing, quenching, normalizing, and tempering.

Steel is heat treated to adjust the metal's properties. Heat treatments can increase a steel's hardness or ductility, or relieve stresses that accumulate due to other processing steps. To choose the best heat treating method for an application, manufacturers must understand how heat and carbon dictate phase changes and how different processes can be combined to produce a desired property. After completing this course, users will be familiar with heat treating theories and processes and be better equipped to use heat treatments.

Class Details

Class Name:
Essentials of Heat Treatment of Steel 211
Version:
2.0
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Number of Lessons:
22
Related 1.0 Class:
Heat Treatment of Steel 230

Class Outline

  • What is Heat Treatment?
  • Allotropic Changes
  • Allotropic Changes in Iron
  • Heat Treating and Iron Phases Review
  • Steel Phase Diagram
  • Phases of Steel: Ferrite and Austenite
  • Phases of Steel: Cementite
  • Hypoeutectoid and Hypereutectoid Steels
  • Iron-Carbon Diagram Review
  • Pearlite Formation
  • Bainite Formation
  • Martensite Formation
  • Martensite Formation: BCT Structures
  • Pearlite, Bainite, Martensite Review
  • Hardenability
  • Annealing
  • Normalizing
  • Quenching
  • Quenching Mediums
  • Tempering
  • Heat Treatment Processes Review
  • Combination of Heat Treatment Steps

Objectives

  • Define heat treatment.
  • Define allotropic.
  • Describe allotropic changes in iron.
  • Describe the iron-carbon phase diagram for steel.
  • Describe ferrite and austenite.
  • Describe cementite.
  • Define hypoeutectoid and hypereutectoid steels.
  • Describe the formation of pearlite.
  • Describe the formation of bainite.
  • Describe the formation of martensite.
  • Define hardenability.
  • Define annealing.
  • Define normalizing.
  • Define quenching.
  • Describe common quenching mediums.
  • Describe tempering.
  • Describe the combination of heat treatment steps.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
allotropic The ability of a material to exist in more than one crystal structure. Temperature determines whether iron has a body-centered cubic (BCC) or face-centered cubit (FCC) structure.
annealing A heating and cooling operation that usually involves slow cooling. Annealing can reduce hardness, improve machinability, facilitate cold working, produce a desired rnicrostructure, and alter mechanical properties.
austenite The phase at which solid steel recrystallizes and has a face-centered cubic crystal structure. Austenite steel holds a greater amount of dissolved carbon and exhibits increased formability.
bainite A combination of ferrite and cementite that is harder than pearlite. Bainite contains needlelike grain structures, and it requires an initial rapid cooling followed by gradual cooling.
BCC Body-centered cubic. The crystal structure that contains an atom in the center and one atom in each corner of a cube. Steel has a BCC structure at certain temperatures.
BCT Body-centered tetragonal. A crystal structure that has been distorted by the presence of extra atoms of carbon. Martensite has a BCT crystal structure.
body-centered cubic BCC. The crystal structure that contains an atom in the center and one atom in each corner of a cube. Steel has a BCC structure at certain temperatures.
body-centered tetragonal BCT. A body-centered cubic crystal structure that has been distorted by the presence of extra atoms of carbon. Martensite has a BCT crystal structure.
brine A mixture of water and salt. Brine cools metal faster than other quenching mediums.
brittle Unable to be drawn, stretched, or formed. Brittle materials tend to fracture when subjected to mechanical forces.
carbon A nonmetallic element that combines with iron to form steel. Carbon content affects a steel's properties and phase changes.
cementite A compound of iron and carbon that is very hard and brittle. The presence of cementite hardens steel.
chromium A metallic alloying element that increases hardenability and corrosion resistance. Chromium is often added to steel to improve hardenability.
cold working Any metal shaping process that takes place when the metal is below its recrystallization temperature. Cold working adds certain properties to the metal, such as increased strength and improved surface finish.
critical temperatures Temperatures at which a steel changes phases. The upper critical temperature and lower critical temperature are two significant temperatures.
crystal structures The regular, repeating pattern of atoms in a metal. Crystal structures develop as the metal drops below the recrystallization temperature and solidifies.
ductility A material's ability to be drawn, stretched, or formed without fracturing. A metal's ductility can be improved through heat treatment.
eutectoid temperature The lowest temperature at which austenite transforms into ferrite and cementite. Steel with 0.8% carbon transforms at the eutectoid temperature.
face-centered cubic FCC. The crystal structure that contains one atom in the center of the six sides of a cube and one atom in each corner of the cube. Steel has an FCC structure at certain temperatures.
FCC Face-centered cubic. The crystal structure that contains one atom in the center of the six sides of a cube and one atom in each corner of the cube. Steel has an FCC structure at certain temperatures.
ferrite The phase at which solid steel has a body-centered cubic crystal structure. Ferrite steel can hold only a minimal amount of carbon, and it is relatively soft.
forging Forming a metal by compressing it at elevated temperatures. Forged parts are very strong due to their compressed grain structure.
hardenability The ability of a metal to be hardened by heat treatment processes. Hardenability can be improved with chromium, manganese, nickel, and other alloying elements.
hardness The measure of a material's ability to resist penetration, indentation, and scratching. Hardness is a mechanical property.
heat treatment The controlled heating and cooling processes used to change the structure of a material and alter its properties. Heat treating is often used to adjust a material's hardness.
hypereutectoid steel Steel that contains more than 0.8% carbon. Hypereutectoid steel consists of pearlite and cementite at room temperature.
hypoeutectoid steel Steel that contains less than 0.8% carbon. Hypoeutectoid steel consists of ferrite and pearlite at room temperature.
lower critical temperature The temperature at which austenite begins to form in a steel. The lower critical temperature is 1330°F (721°C).
manganese A metallic alloying element that increases strength, hardness, and hardenability. Manganese is often added to steel to improve hardenability.
mar Melted salt. Mar is a quenching medium that cools materials faster than air but slower than oil or water.
martensite A steel that consists of a distorted, body-centered tetragonal crystal structure. Martensite is very hard and brittle.
microstructure The shape and alignment of the microscopic components of a metal. Microstructure is key in determining hardness, toughness, and other properties.
microstructures The shape and alignment of the microscopic components of a metal. A material's microstructure often determines its hardness, toughness, and other properties.
molybdenum A metallic alloying element that increases hardenability, strength, and wear resistance. Molydenum is often added to steel to improve hardenability.
nickel A metallic alloying element that increases strength, impact resistance, and corrosion resistance. Nickel is often added to steel to improve hardenability.
normalizing A heat treatment in which the metal is heated to above the upper critical temperature, held for a period, and then cooled in still air. Normalizing produces a uniform rnicrostructure and relieves stress.
oxidation A material's chemical reaction with oxygen. Oxidation causes rust and tarnish to form on metal surfaces.
pearlite A combination of ferrite and cementite. Steel with exactly 0.8% carbon consists of uniform pearlite at room temperature.
phase diagram A chart that depicts the effects of temperature and pressure changes on a substance. Steel phase diagrams illustrate how carbon content and temperature impact the microstructure of steel.
phases A portion of material with a uniform crystal structure, consistent properties, and recognizable boundaries. At room temperature, steel consists of two or more phases.
precipitation The separation of a substance that was previously dissolved in another substance. Carbon appears as a precipitation of cementite in steels with over 0.02 percent carbon.
quenching The soaking of a metal at a high temperature above the recystallization phase, followed by a rapid cooling process. The quenching of steel creates martensite.
quenching mediums The substance used to cool a metal during quenching. Water, saltwater, air, synthetic polymers, and oil are common quenching mediums.
silicon An element that is added to alloys to improve hot-forming properties. Silicon is often added to steel to improve hardenability.
soaking The heating of a metal at a constant temperature for an extended duration of time. Soaking is part of annealing processes.
synthetic polymer A polymer that is chemically manufactured from separate materials. Some synthetic polymers can be used as quenching mediums.
tempered martensite Martensite steel that has been heated and gradually cooled. Tempered martensite has better ductility and toughness than standard martensite.
tempering The heat treatment of hardened steels to temperatures below the transformation temperature range, followed by a gradual cooling process. Tempering is usually done to improve toughness.
time-temperature-transformation diagram A diagram that illustrates phase changes that take place in metal due to time and temperature. Time-temperature-transformation diagrams are also called isothermal transformation diagrams.
toughness A material's ability to absorb mechanical forces before fracturing. A metal's toughness can be improved through heat treatment.
upper critical temperature The temperature above which steel consists entirely of austenite. The upper critical temperature varies based on the steel's carbon content.