Heat Treating of Irons and Steels
Quench cracking is a brittle fracture phenomenon, and its occurrence depends not only on the stress changes but also on the mechanical characteristics of metals. Simulation of quenching processes has become possible in the analysis of quench cracking. This article commences with a discussion on the studies conducted to determine the origin of quench cracks, and then describes various test procedures for determining the susceptibility of quench cracking. It provides a description of the brittle fracture in terms of fracture mechanics and fracture toughness of quenched metals, and discusses the effects of impurities, hydrogen, and surface roughness on cracking. The article exemplifies simulation works applied to several successful cracking tests on cylindrical and complex-shaped steel parts.