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Unlike conventional quench and temper heat treatment, austempering is an iron and steel heat-treatment process that enhances mechanical properties through the isothermal transformation of austenite with a minimum amount of quenching stresses. This chapter begins with a discussion of austemperability requirements. Then outlines of austenitizing and austempering cycles and resultant microstructures are presented. This is followed by sections discussing the mechanical properties, advantages, limitations, machinability, process variants, and applications of austempered ductile iron (ADI). Information on the growth of premachined ADI components is also provided. Further, the chapter describes two slightly different systems for austempering: atmospheric-salt and salt-salt systems....

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