Excessive distortion was observed in many small components made from 1080 steel that was neutral hardened following stamping. A study was then undertaken to determine how to reduce the distortion of the heat-treated parts while maintaining proper hardness and microstructure. A numerical simulation based on Simheat software was conducted to determine the effect of elevated temperature on the quenching oil used and its impact on distortion and microstructure. A second oil designed to operate at higher temperatures was also examined. Using Simheat software, the two oils were compared based on predicted distortion, hardness, and microstructure and the results were subsequently validated using empirical methods. It was concluded that a significant improvement in distortion could be achieved by using a different oil and higher quench temperatures.

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