Preface to Principles of Heat Treatment of Steels (1980)
This book is a completely rewritten version of Principles of Heat Treatment by M. A. Grossmann and E. C. Bain. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the contributions of these authors. Much of their work, especially that concerning the development of hardenability concepts, is incorporated here. Principles of Heat Treatment covered developments between 1935 and 1964, and Grossmann, Bain, and their contemporaries did their work so well that the heat treatment and metallurgy of carbon steels was almost taken for granted. Steels, however, are wonderfully complex, and continued effort in the last twenty years has brought deeper understanding of their response to thermal and mechanical treatments. New theoretical approaches to diffusion-controlled and martensitic transformations, the characterization of fine structure by transmission electron microscopy, fractography with the scanning electron microscope, new electron beam microanalysis techniques, fracture toughness testing, continued examination of hardenability, and the relationship of microstructure and fine structure to strength, toughness, and ductility are all areas, highly developed only in the last twenty years, that I have attempted to build onto the solid foundations of steel heat treatment developed by earlier workers. My approach has been to develop the structure-property-processing relationships that underlie the many heat treatments applied to steels. The origin and characterization of microstructures are emphasized because they are so often forgotten as the source of the handbook graphs and tables of processing parameters and properties.
The give-and-take of many conferences and the contributions of many investigators to the literature have been the basis for our growing understanding of steels and their behavior. I have drawn widely from published sources and through the cited references hope to recognize at least some university and industrial scientists and their contributions. The reference lists are by no means complete, but every paper opens up an area by listing tens or even hundreds of additional references.
Especially rewarding has been my association with other investigators. Morris Cohen initiated my interest in steel, and the enthusiasm of my colleagues and students has sustained that interest. I have learned from every thesis investigation, and examples of the work of my students are shown throughout this book.
In recent years I have benefited much from association with the treatment activities of the American Society for Metals, first through membership on the Heat Treatment Technical Division Council, and more recently as editor of the Journal of Heat Treating. These associations have made me aware of the scope and sophistication of new approaches to the heat treatment of steels, and I am especially grateful to Norman Kates, Dale Breen, Jon Dossett, and Joe Riopelle for their introduction to the demanding, practical world of heat treatment.
A university research effort is very much dependent on outside support. I gratefully acknowledge the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the AMAX Foundation, and the American Iron and Steel Institute for the support that has enabled me and my students to remain actively involved in research on the behavior of steels. I acknowledge also fruitful discussions with Professors Glenn Edwards, Tom Bell, and Norman Breyer concerning parts of the text and am grateful for micrographs supplied by Professors R.W.K. Honeycombe, Robert Hehemann, and Marvin Wayman. Mark Geib deserves special mention for his help with some of the figures. Finally, I am deeply grateful to my wife, Ruth, for her competent assistance, her unwavering support, and the typing of the manuscript—all given between a busy schedule of rehearsals and performances of the Central City Opera and the Evergreen Chorale.
September 25, 1979
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