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This chapter explains how decarburization can occur during carburizing processes and how to limit the severity of its effects. It describes the reactions and conditions that result in a loss of carbon atoms and how they vary with changes in the physical metallurgy of the affected material and the processing environment. It examines the characteristic features of decarburized microstructures and assesses their influence on hardness, residual stresses, and fatigue and fracture behaviors. It also discusses corrective measures and practical considerations regarding their use.

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