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Hardenability refers to the ability of steel to obtain satisfactory hardening to some desired depth when cooled under prescribed conditions. It is governed almost entirely by the chemical composition (carbon and alloy content) at the austenitizing temperature and the austenite grain size at the moment of quenching. This article describes the Jominy end-quench test, the Grossman method, and the air hardenability test to evaluate hardenability. It also reviews the factors that influence steel hardenability and selection.

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