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Thermal Processing of Metals

Chapter 11

Annealing

A heat treatment process in which a material is heated to an elevated temperature, allowed to dwell there for a set amount of time and then cooled with a controlled rate.

Stages of annealing:

• Heating to required temperature

• Holding (“soaking”) at constant temperature

• Cooling

The time at the high temperature (soaking time) is long enough to allow the desired

transformation (diffusion, kinetics) to occur.

Cooling is done slowly to avoid warping/cracking of due to the thermal gradients and

thermo-elastic stresses within or even cracking the metal piece.

Purposes of annealing:

• Relieve internal stresses

• Increase ductility, toughness, softness

• Produce specific microstructure

Process Annealing used to revert effects of work hardening (by recovery and recrystallization) and to increase ductility. Heating is usually limited to avoid excessive grain growth and oxidation. Oxidation may be avoided by performing at relatively low temperature (but above the recrystallization temperature) or in nonoxidizing temperature.

Stress Relief Annealing used to eliminate/minimize stresses arising from

o

Plastic deformation during machining

o

Non-uniform cooling

Annealing temperatures are relatively low so that useful effects of cold working are not eliminated.

Annealing of Ferrous Alloy

Eutectoid Point
Eutectoid Point

Hypoeutectoid

Hypereutectoid

reaction

reaction

Lower critical temperature A 1 below which austenite (γ) does not exist.

Upper critical temperature lines, A 3 and A cm above which all material is austenite (γ).

The presence of other alloying elements will shift the eutectoid and the positions of these phase boundary lines.

Normalizing

Normalizing • An annealing heat treatment just above the upper critical temperature to reduce the AVERAGE

An annealing heat treatment just above the upper critical temperature to reduce the AVERAGE grain sizes (of pearlite and proeutectoid phase) and make more uniform size distributions.

Heat to at least 55°C above A 1 for euctectoid and above A 3 for composition less than 0.76 wt. % C and above A cm for compositions more than 0.76 wt. %.

After complete transformation to austenite (austenitizing - γ). the treatment is completed by cooling to the required microstructure.

Full anneal

Full anneal • Austenizing (γ) and slow cooling ( several hours). Produces coarse pearlite -large grains

Austenizing (γ) and slow cooling (several hours). Produces coarse pearlite -large grains (and possible proeutectoid phase) that is relatively soft and ductile. Full annealing is used to soften pieces which have been hardened by plastic deformation, and which need to undergo subsequent machining/forming.

The alloys is treated above 50°C above A 3 or A 1 . Then, cooled slowly in furnace.

Microstructure is coarse pearlite ( in addition to proeutectoid phase).

Spheroidizing

Spheroidizing • Prolonged heating just below the eutectoid temperature, which results in the soft spheroidite

Prolonged heating just below the eutectoid temperature, which

results in the soft spheroidite structure.

This achieves maximum softness needed in

subsequent forming operations. Can take place by several methods such as:

(a)

Heating just below A1 (transformation time from pearlite~ 15 25h)

(b)

Heating to a temperature just above eutectoid temperature; cooling slowly in the furnace or holding at a temp just below the eutectoid temp

Heat Treatment of Steels

Martensite has the strongest microstructure and can be made more ductile by tempering. Therefore, the optimum properties of quenched

and tempered steel are realized if a high content of martensite is

produced.

Problem: It is difficult to maintain the same conditions throughout the

entire volume of steel during cooling: the surface cools more quickly

than interior, producing a range of microstructures throughout. The martensitic content, and the hardness, will drop from a high value at the surface to a lower value in the interior of the specimen.

Production of uniform martensitic structure depends on

composition

quenching conditions

size + shape of specimen

Tempering - Hardness

Martensite is the hardest / strongest and most brittle of the steel microstructures

Hardness is a function of carbon content

Enhance ductility by tempering.

Anneal to equilibrium

ferrite plus cementite phases. Formation by this

route called tempered

martensite.

tempering. • Anneal to equilibrium ferrite plus cementite phases. Formation by this route called tempered martensite.

Hardenability

Hardenability is the ability of the Fe-C alloy to be hardened by forming martensite.

Hardenability is not “hardness”. It is a qualitative measure of the rate at which hardness decreases with distance from the surface because of decreased martensite

content.

High hardenability means the ability of the alloy to produce a high martensite content throughout the volume of

specimen.

Hardenability is measured by the Jominy end-quench test, performed for standard cylindrical specimen, standard

austenitization conditions, and standard quenching

conditions (jet of water at specific flow rate and temperature).

Hardenability: Jominy end-quench test of Hardenability

Hardenability: Jominy end-quench test of Hardenability The “Hardenability Curve” is the dependence of hardness on

The “Hardenability Curve” is

the dependence of hardness on distance from the quenched end.

After removal from furnace, specimen is quickly mounted as shown. The lower end is quenched by a jet of water cooling rate is maximum at the quenched end.

After cooled at RT, shallow flats of 0.4 mm deep are ground along the specimen length and Rockwell hardness measurement are made.

Hardenability: Hardenability Curve

Less martensite
Less martensite

Quenched end cools most rapidly and contains most martensite

Cooling rate decreases with distance from quenched end

High hardenability means that the hardness curve is relatively flat.

Hardenability

Hardenability curves for five different steel alloys, each containing 0.4 wt. % C. Approximate alloy compositions (wt %) are as follows:

(a) 4340 1.85 Ni, 0.80 Cr, 0.25 Mo. (b) 4140 1.0 Cr, 0.2 Mo. (c) 8640 0.55 Ni,

0.5 Cr, 0.2 Mo. (d) 5140 0.85 Cr. (e) 1040 Unalloyed steel

Mo. (d) 5140  0.85 Cr. (e) 1040  Unalloyed steel • Alloying elements delay formation

Alloying elements delay formation of pearlite, bainite : more martensite

Can also define

hardenability in terms of

cooling rate (C/s)

Hardenability

Hardenability Hardenability also generally increases with C content

Hardenability also

generally increases with C

content

Hardenability: Influence of Quenching Medium, Specimen

Size, and Geometry on Hardenability

Quenching medium: Cooling is faster

in water then oil, slow in air. Fast

cooling brings the danger of warping

and formation of cracks, since it is usually accompanied by large

thermal gradients.

The shape and size of the piece:

Cooling rate depends upon

extraction of heat to specimen surface. Thus the greater the ration of surface area to volume, the deeper the hardening effect. Spheres cool slowest, irregularly shaped objects fastest.

effect. Spheres cool slowest, irregularly shaped objects fastest. Radial hardness profiles of cylindrical steel bars

Radial hardness profiles of cylindrical steel bars

Distance from surface Oil vs. water Diameter

Hardenability: Specimen size and rate of cooling

Diameter Hardenability: Specimen size and rate of cooling Cooling rate as a function of diameter at

Cooling rate as a function of diameter at surface, three quarter radius (3/4 R), midradius (R/2), and center positions for cylindrical bars quenched in mildly agitated (a) water and (b) oil.

Example Problem 11.1 Determine the radial hardness profile for a 50 mm (2 in) diameter

Example Problem 11.1

Determine the radial hardness profile for a 50 mm (2 in) diameter cylindrical specimen of

1040 steel that has been quenched in

moderately agitated water.

(a)The cooling rate at the center of a water-quenched 50 mm (2 in) diameter is determined (Figure

11.7a)

(b)The cooling rate is converted into

an HRC hardness for 1040 steel. (Figure 11.14) (c)The Rockwell hardness is plotted on

the radial hardness profile (Figure

11.18).

Exercise 1

Construct radial hardness profiles for the

following:

(a) A 45-mm diameter cylindrical specimen of an 8640 steel alloy that has been quenched in

moderately agitated oil

In the manner of Example Problem 11.1, the

equivalent distances and hardnesses tabulated below were determined from Figures 11.14 and

11.17b

Radial

Position

Equivalent

Distance, mm

HRC

Hardness

Surface

7

52

3/4 R

11

50

Mid radius

14

45

Center

16

44

The resulting hardness profile is plotted

below.

• The resulting hardness profile is plotted below.

Exercise 1

A cylindrical piece of steel 20 mm in diameter

is to be quenched in moderately agitated oil.

Surface and center hardnesses must be at least 55 and 50 HRC, respectively. Which of the following alloys will satisfy these

requirements: 1040, 5140, 4340, 4140, and

8640? Justify your choice(s).

solution

In moderately agitated oil, the equivalent distances from the

quenched end for a 20-mm diameter bar for surface and center positions are 3 mm and 8 mm respectively [Figure 11.17b]. The hardnesses at these two positions for the alloys cited (as

determined using Figure 11.14) are given below

Alloy

Surface

Hardness (HRC)

Center

Hardness (HRC)

1040

50

30

5140

56

49

4340

57

57

4140

57

55

8640

57

53

Thus, alloys 4340, 4140, and 8640 will satisfy the criteria for both surface and center hardnesses.

Exercise 2

A cylindrical piece of steel 70 mm in diameter

is to be austenitized and quenched such that a

minimum hardness of 40 HRC is to be produced throughout the entire piece. Of the alloys 8660, 8640, 8630, and 8620, which will qualify if the

quenching medium is (a) moderately agitated

water, and (b) moderately agitated oil? Justify

your choice(s).

Solution

This

problem calls for us to decide which of 8660, 8640,

8630, and 8620 alloys may be fabricated into a cylindrical piece 70 mm in diameter which, when quenched in mildly agitated water, will produce a minimum hardness of 40 HRC throughout the entire piece.

The center of the steel cylinder will cool the slowest and therefore will be the softest. In moderately agitated water the equivalent distance from the quenched end for a 70-

mm diameter bar for the center position is about 15 mm

[Figure 11.17a]. The hardnesses at this position for the alloys cited (Figure 11.15) are given below.

Alloy

Center Hardness (HRC)

8660

58

8640

42

8630

30

8620

22

Therefore, only 8660 and 8640 alloys will have a minimum of 40 HRC at the center, and therefore,

throughout the entire cylinder

(b) This part of the problem asks us to do the same thing for moderately agitated oil. In

moderately agitated oil the equivalent

distance from the quenched end for a 70-mm diameter bar at the center position is about 22.5 mm [Figure 11.17b]. The hardnesses at this position for the alloys cited (Figure 11.15)

are given below.

Center

Alloy

Hardness (HRC)

8660

53

8640

37

8630

26

8620

< 20

Therefore, only the 8660 alloy will have a

minimum of 40 HRC at the center, and therefore, throughout the entire cylinder

Exercise 3

A cylindrical piece of steel 40 mm in diameter

is to be austenitized and quenched such that a

microstructure consisting of at least 80%

martensite will be produced throughout the

entire piece. Of the alloys 4340, 4140, 8640, 5140, and 1040, which will qualify if the

quenching medium is (a) moderately agitated

oil and (b) moderately agitated water? Justify your choice(s).

Solution

Since the cooling rate is lowest at the center, we want a minimum of 80% martensite at the center position. From Figure 11.17b, the cooling rate is equal to an equivalent distance from the quenched end of 12 mm. According to Figure 11.14, the hardness corresponding to 80% martensite for these alloys is 50 HRC.

Thus, all we need do is to determine which of the alloys have a 50 HRC hardness at an equivalent distance from the quenched end of 12 mm. At an equivalent distance of 8 mm, the following

hardnesses are determined from Figure 11.14 for the various

alloys.

Alloy

Hardness (HRC)

4340

56

4140

53

8640

49

5140

43

1040

25

Thus, only alloys 4340 and 4140 will qualify.

(b) For moderately agitated water, the cooling rate at the center of a 40-mm diameter specimen is 8 mm

equivalent distance from the quenched end [Figure

11.17a]. At this position, the following hardnesses are

determined from Figure 11.14 for the several alloys.

Alloy

Hardness (HRC)

4340

57

4140

55

8640

54

5140

51

1040

33

It is still necessary to have a hardness of 50 HRC or greater at the center; thus, alloys 4340, 4140, 8640, and 5140

qualify

fig_11_14

fig_11_14

Alternative quiz:

A cylindrical piece of steel 85 mm in diameter is to be

quenched in moderately agitated water.

Surface and center hardnesses must be at least 55 and 40 HRC, respectively. Which of the following

alloys will satisfy these requirements: 1040, 5140,

4340, 8640 fand 4140? Justify your choices

fig_11_15
fig_11_15
fig_11_16
fig_11_16
fig_11_17

fig_11_17

fig_11_18

fig_11_18

fig_11_19
fig_11_19
fig_11_20
fig_11_20

Precipitation Hardening

Small inclusions of secondary phases strengthen material

Lattice distortions around these secondary phases

impede dislocation motion

The precipitates form when the solubility limit is

exceeded

Precipitation hardening is also called age hardening

because it involves the hardening of the material over a

prolonged time.

Heat Treatment for Precipitation Hardening

Heat Treatment for Precipitation Hardening 3) Precipitation heat treatment : the supersaturated solution is heated to

3) Precipitation heat treatment: the supersaturated solution is heated to T 2 where diffusion is appreciable – β phase starts to form as finely

dispersed particles: aging.

1) Solution heat treatment: at T o , all the solute atoms A are dissolved to form a single- phase (α) solution.

2) Rapid cooling across the solvus line to exceed the solubility limit. This leads to a metastable supersaturated solid solution at T 1 . Equilibrium structure is α+β, but limited diffusion does not allow β to form.

Heat Treatment for Precipitation Hardening

Heat Treatment for Precipitation Hardening Schematic temperature vs time plot showing both solution and precipitation heat

Schematic temperature vs

time plot showing both

solution and precipitation heat treatments for precipitation hardening.

With increasing time, the strength or hardness increases, reaches a maximum, and finally diminishes. This reduction on strength and hardness that occurs after a long time

period is known as overaging.

finally diminishes. This reduction on strength and hardness that occurs after a long time period is
The precipitation hardening characteristics of a 2014 aluminum alloy (0.9 wt. % Si, 4.4 wt.

The precipitation hardening characteristics of a 2014 aluminum alloy (0.9 wt. % Si, 4.4 wt. % Cu, 0.8 wt. % Mn, 0.5 wt. % Mg) at four different aging temperatures (a) yield strength, and (b) ductilility (% EL).

The strengthening process is accelerated

as the temperature is increased.

Associated with an increase in strength is a reduction in ductility.

Is it possible to produce a precipitation hardened 2014 aluminum alloy having a minimum yield

Is it possible to produce

a precipitation hardened 2014 aluminum alloy

having a minimum yield

strength of 350 MPa (50,000 psi) and a

ductility of at least 18%

EL? If so, specify the precipitation heat

treatment. If it is not

possible, then explain why.