Steel Heat Treating Technologies
This article provides information on the salt baths used for a variety of heat treatments, including heating, quenching, interrupted quenching (austempering and martempering), case hardening, and tempering. It describes two general types of salt bath systems for steel hardening: the first type uses atmosphere austenitizing followed by salt quench and the second type employs austenitizing salt baths with rapid transfer to the quench salt. The article provides a detailed account on the construction, advantages and disadvantages, and limitations of isothermal quenching furnaces, submerged-electrode furnaces, immersed-electrode furnaces, and externally heated furnaces. It discusses the important applications of various furnace designs, including the austempering of ductile iron, the hardening of tool steels, and the isothermal annealing of high-alloy steels.