Instrumented methods for measuring the coefficient of heat transfer are difficult to implement in industrial quench systems. In 1985 Roy Kern presented a simple empirical method for calculating the quench severity of commercial quench systems using measured Jominy hardenability and a mid-radius (r/R=0.5) hardness of a 3-inch diameter 8640 or 4140 steel bar. A more general approach using the Kern methodology is presented here with hardness profile matching to determine the quench severity. Experiments were performed using 2-inch diameter bars of 8620 with a length to diameter ratio of 4. Test bars and Jominy bars were heat-treated following ASTM A255. Test bars were quenched using an experimental draft tube with a water velocity of 6 ft/s. An excel workbook was programmed to calculate the quenched hardness profile as a function of quench severity using prior austenite grain size and steel chemistry. Measured Jominy hardness and calculated hardenability were in good agreement provided the prior austenite grain size was incorporated into the calculations. Both the Kern method and hardness profile matching produced a quench severity equal to 1.45.

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