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This article describes the metallurgy and process specifics of subcritical annealing, which involves heating below the lower critical temperature such that austenite does not form during subcritical annealing. It provides information on the nominal subcritical annealing temperatures of plain carbon, low-alloy and high-alloy steels and temperature-time relations of subcritical annealing. Practical implications for induction annealing and induction normalizing are included. The article concludes by describing induction softening, which softens the threaded area on carburized components such as hypoid pinion gears, to prevent the occurrence of delayed fractures from occurring.

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