Hardenability of Carbon and Alloy Steels
Hardenability is usually the single most important factor in the selection of steel for heat-treated parts. The hardenability of steel is best assessed by studying the hardening response of the steel to cooling in a standardized configuration in which a variety of cooling rates can be easily and consistently reproduced from one test to another. These include the Jominy end-quench test, the carburized hardenability test, and the surface-area-center hardenability test. This article discusses the effects of varying carbon content as well as the influence of different alloying elements on hardenability of steels. The basic information needed before a steel with adequate hardenability can be specified as the as-quenched hardness required prior to tempering to final hardness that will produce the best stress-resisting microstructure; the depth below the surface to which this hardness must extend; and the quenching medium that should be used in hardening.
Hardenability of Carbon and Alloy Steels, Metals Handbook Desk Edition, 2nd Ed., 2nd ed., Edited By Joseph R. Davis, ASM International, 1998, p 269–274, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.hb.mhde2.a0003103
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