Preface to Steels: Heat Treatment and Processing Principles (1990)
The 1980s have been a dynamic period for manufacturing, and it is appropriate that Principles be expanded to describe a broader selection of ferrous alloys used in manufacturing. Not only is deeper understanding of the performance of conventionally treated steels now available, but new alloys and new processes also have been developed. For example, new alloys under active development or brought to market in the ’80s include duplex stainless steels, microalloyed bar and forging steels, ultrahigh-nitrogen stainless steels, low-cobalt maraging steels, steels with low manganese and silicon that are resistant to temper embrittlement, and austempered ductile cast irons. The success of these new alloys, as well as that of improved conventional steels, is often directly coupled to advances in melting, and the 1980s have seen the widespread adoption of ladle metallurgy and other special steelmaking techniques.
The most dramatic changes in processing have come in the area of surface modification, ranging from improvements in induction heating and gas carburizing to the development of plasma, physical vapor deposition, and laser heating processes. Thermochemical modifications, coatings, solid-state transformation hardening, and rapidly solidified, thin-surface layers are all possible with the new techniques. Thus exciting possibilities exist for manufacturing surfaces with special properties and engineered materials systems incorporating ferrous alloys.
For the revised edition of Principles of Heat Treatment of Steel I have added chapters on new surface modification techniques, stainless steels, tool steels, and cast irons, and have expanded four of the original chapters. Thus the revised text covers many aspects of alloying, processing, and microstructure evolution beyond those involved in conventional heat treatment of carbon steels. Also, the new surface modification techniques are often directed to producing engineered composite systems quite different from traditionally processed steels. In order to reflect the broader scope of the present edition, the title Steels: Heat Treatment and Processing Principles was selected. This new title moves steels to a prominent position, and recognizes the importance of processing other than heat treatment.
The principles of microstructure development, and the effects of microstructure on properties and performance, within the context of alloying, phase equilibria, and processing, remain the dominant theme of this book. About 110 new figures have been added, many of them selected to illustrate characteristic and special microstructural features of ferrous alloys. While heat treatment and thermal processing are still of prime importance, solidification, thermomechanical, mechanical, and surface deposition processing are also recognized as major factors which establish structure property relationships in a broad spectrum of ferrous alloys.
Selected literature is cited throughout the text in order to lead readers to in-depth sources of information regarding topics of special interest. Unfortunately, the references cannot recognize all who have contributed to the vast field of processing, heat treatment, and performance of steels. Handbook and manufacturing literature must be referred to for processing details and property tabulations which cannot be included here.
The Army Research Office and National Science Foundation have continued to support steel research at the Colorado School of Mines into the 1980s, and I am grateful for continuing support of the AMAX Foundation for my professorship. In 1984, the Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center (ASPPRC), a cooperative industry-university research center, was established at the Colorado School of Mines with a seed grant from the National Science Foundation. This Center has made possible a renewed effort to deepen understanding of steel as a vital manufacturing material. I acknowledge with gratitude the support and interest of the following organizations who were sponsors of ASPPRC at the time of the writing of this second edition: Army Materials Technology Laboratory, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Carpenter Technology Corporation, Caterpillar Incorporated, Chaparral Steel Company, Chrysler Corporation, Dofasco, Eaton Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Inland Steel Company, Lake Ontario Steel Corporation, National Institute for Standards and Technology, LTV Steel Company, Lukens Steel Company, North Star Steel Company, Rouge Steel Company, Stelco Incorporated, The Timken Company, and United States Steel Division, USX.
With pleasure I acknowledge helpful discussions and contributions of micrographs from a broadened list of colleagues: Tohru Arai (Toyota Research Laboratories), M. Grace Burke (Westinghouse Electric Company), J.R.T. Branco (CSM), RH. Barkalow and R.W. Kraft (Lehigh University), Tom Bell (University of Birmingham), Scott Diets (CSM), David Hoffmann (Ford Motor Company), A.S. Korhonen (Helsinki University of Technology), Tom Majewski (Caterpillar Incorporated), Jeff McClain (CSM), Bob McGrew (CSM), Tadashi Maki and Imao Tamura (Kyoto University), Eric Mittemeijer (Delft University of Technology), Hisaki Okamoto (Tottori University), Mike Rigsbee (University of Illinois), Mike Shea (General Motors Corporation), Pan Jei (CSM), Steve Thompson (CSM), George Vander Voort (Carpenter Technology Corporation), Abdul Wahid (CSM), and Shen Yun (CSM).
I thank Scott Diets for his help with the figures, and I am especially grateful for the collaboration and support of my colleague, David K. Matlock. We have shared and accomplished much together in the 1980s. My wife Ruth supported this effort in many ways, including the word processing of many revisions of the final manuscript, and I thank her deeply for her help.
July 30, 1989