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Hardenability Jominy End Quench Test

Hardenability is the ability of steel to

partially or completely transform from
austenite to some fraction of martensite at a
given depth below the surface when cooled
under a certain condition.
The gold standard test for all hardenability
results has always been the Jominy End-
Quench Test.
The information gained from this test is
necessary when selecting the proper
combination of alloy steel and heat-
treatment parameters in order to minimize2/12/17

It is the property that determines the depth

and distribution of hardness induced by
Steels that exhibit deep hardness
penetration are considered to have high
hardenability, while those that exhibit
shallow hardness penetration are of low
Hardenability is the single most important
factor in the selection of steel for heat-
treated parts.
Hardenability should not be confused with
What is Hardenability?
Alloying elements dissolved in austenite decrease
the rate of austenite transformation at subcritical
Martensite and lower Bainite are the desirable
products of transformation in these steels and these
are formed at low temperatures.
In such steels, it is possible to cool the parts more
slowly, or larger parts can be quenched in a given
medium, without austenite transformation to the
undesirable high temperature products (pearlite or
upper bainite).
This most important effect of alloying elements in
steels which decreases the rate of transformation
and facilitates transformation to martensite or lower
Hardenability - Definition
Hardenability, is defined as the ability of a ferrous
material to acquire hardness after austenitisation
and quenching.
This general definition comprises two sub-
The ability to reach a certain hardness level and
the hardness distribution within a cross section,
which is associated with the highest attainable
It depends on the carbon content of the material
and specifically on the amount of carbon
dissolved in the austenite at the austenitizing
temperatures, as only this amount of carbon takes

The units of hardenability are those of cooling

rate, such as degrees per second.
These cooling rates, as related to the
continuous-cooling-transformation behavior of
the steel, determine the hardness and
microstructural outcome of a quench.
These cooling rates are often expressed as a
distance, with other factors such as the
thermal conductivity of steel and the rate of
surface heat removal being held constant.
Therefore, the terms Jominy distance and
ideal critical diameter can be used. 2/12/17
The hardenability of steel depends on the chemical
composition (carbon and alloy content) at the
austenitizing temperature and the austenite grain
size at the time of quenching.
If, on heating to the austenitizing temperature. the
carbides are not fully dissolved in austenite the
steel, the hardenability of such steels will be lower,
and the carbides in fact may decrease the
hardenability by nucleating transformation sites.
This is important in high-carbon (0.50 to 1.10%)
and alloy carburizing steels, as they may contain
excess carbides at the austenitizing temperature.
Austenitizing temperature, time at temperature,
and prior microstructure are very important 2/12/17
Depth of Hardening

Hardenability of steel is characterized by

transformation - timetemperature curves (IT curves).
As the more the curve is shifted to the right along the
abscissa axis, the hardenability of the steel increases.
The rightward shift of the IT curve means better
stability of under -cooled austenite.
An increase in the critical hardening rate leads to a
greater depth of hardening.
The hardenability depends the factors that improve
the stability of under-cooled austenite, which can be
raised by alloying steel with chromium and tungsten,
as they lower the austenite precipitation rate and can
make a steel an air-hardening one.
Depth of Hardening
A commercial steel with usual impurities content can
be hardened to a strength ten times that of a pure
ironcarbon alloy
Increasing the hardening (austenitizing) temperature
results in:
the homogenization of austenite ,
enlargement of austenite grains and increased
hardening depth.
Refinement of grains larger grain boundary area
lower the stability of austenite lower hardenability.
The hardening depth also depends on:
Hardening medium used - the greater the intensity of
cooling, the greater the depth of hardening.
The cross-sectional diameter of the component - the
The critical diameter is different for different
hardening media and characterizes the hardenability
provided by a particular method only.
The mechanical properties of steel depend on its
Hardenability .
A through hardened steels properties do not vary
along the cross section of a product while in a non
through hardened component, the properties
decrease from the surface to the center.
It has been seen that in steels tempered after
hardening, higher tempering temperatures favor
equalization of hardness along the cross section.
The structure of weakly hardenable steels is
inhomogeneous; during quenching, the grain 2/12/17
Effect of Hardenability on Mechanical Properties
The character of changes in the properties of steels
with different hardenabilities is depends on the type
of grain structure is present across the entire cross
section. The properties - yield stress, specific
elongation, impact strength - do not depend on the
type of cementite.
Ferrite precipitation during quenching affects the
properties of tempered steels (fracture stress, yield
stress, impact strength, reduction of area).
The mechanical properties of a hardened & Tempered
component depend on its cross-sectional area and
one must ensure through hardenability in this cross
section. To obtain the best mechanical properties in
the tempered state, through hardenability should be 2/12/17
Hardenability and Quench Cracking

The higher the carbon content in steels, lower will be

Ms temperature.
At lower temperatures, the steel is less plastic and
therefore less able to withstand the strains set up by
the volume increase (about 1%) when austenite
transforms to martensite.
Also, the higher-carbon martensites are harder and
more brittle and cannot withstand the severe strains
set up in quenching as well; therefore, components
with an unfavorable configuration, such as a shaft
with a flange, may develop quench cracks.

Effect of Grain Size
As Austenite transforms to other phases during
cooling, its grain size represents an important
characteristic of steel since all structural components
are formed within each separate crystal.
The smaller the austenite grains, the finer the
network of excess ferrite at their boundaries and the
smaller the pearlite colonies and martensite crystals.
Therefore, a fine grain corresponds to a fine crystal
fracture of steel and vice versa at the temperatures
where austenite has already precipitated.
Impact strength decreases with grain enlargement,
i.e. larger the grain size, lower the impact strength.
A decrease in the dimensions of pearlite colonies
inside the initial austenite grain favors a rise in 2/12/17
Austenite grain size and Hardenability
A coarse austenite grain results in a coarse plate
structure of martensite during quenching and during
annealing or normalizing, a coarse cellular network of
ferrite (cementite) forms at the boundary of the initial
austenite grains
The pearlite structure is also the coarser, with larger
the pearlite grains.
A coarse-grain structure of steel (ferritepearlite,
martensite, etc.) is characterized by lower mechanical

Austenite Grain Size and Hardenability

A fine-grain structure of steel is preferred. The primary

task is to produce fine-grain austenite.
As austenite appears during heating of a ferritecarbide
mixture, growth centers of the austenite phase are very
numerous, and initially austenite grains are extremely
small, on the order of 1020 m.
With increase in the heating temperature or holding time
in the austenite range, the grains begin to grow
Two types of steels exist: hereditarily coarse-grained steels
and hereditarily fine-grained steels.
This difference is due to the grain growth kinetics with an
increase in temperature.

Effect of Grain Size

While the grain size has a considerable effect on

impact strength, its influence on the statistical
characteristics of mechanical properties such as
hardness, fracture stress, yield stress, and specific
elongation is not significant.
Even though the actual grain size affects steel
properties and the inherited size has no effect on the
steel properties, the technological process of heat
treatment is determined by the inherited grain.
For example, a hereditarily fine-grained steel may be
deformed at a higher temperature with the assurance
that the coarse-grained structure will not occur.

Grain size and Grain Boundary
Most of structural materials are polycrystalline - they
comprise a set of grains separated by boundaries.
The grain boundary is one of the basic structural
elements in polycrystalline materials and represents an
interface between two differently oriented crystals.
Grain Boundary is the region of crystal imperfection and
is capable of moving and adsorbing impurities, and has
a high diffusive permeability; they determine the
kinetics of many processes.
For example, movement of grain boundaries controls
the process of recrystallization.
Grain boundaries adsorb impurities and thereby cause
embrittlement of metallic materials.
Grain Size: Definition
Grain size is normally quantified by a numbering
system: 1-5 - Coarse and fine 5-8.
The number is derived from the formula N=2n-1 where
n is the number of grains per square inch at a
magnification of 100 diameters.
ASTM E 112 is the standard used for Grain Size
determination and covers the three main methods
used, viz. Comparison method, Planimetric method
and Intercept method. The basis of ASTM No. is given
in Annexure 1 of the Standard
Grain size has an important effect on physical
For service at ordinary temperatures it is considered
that fine grained steels give a better combination 2/12/17
Etching for Grain size Determination
The grain size is determined from micro sections after
their etching.
For carbon and alloyed steels, the reagent used for
etching is: 15 ml HNO3+100 ml ethyl or methyl
Etching of carbon low-alloy steels results in
darkening of pearlite and improve the visibility of
ferrite grain boundaries, the martensite structure, and
tempering products.
The etching rate rises with the amount of nitric acid.
The etching time is from several seconds to a minute.
Carburization is also used to establish the austenite
grain boundaries. In this case, samples are heated to
930C in a carburizing medium (e.g., a mixture of 2/12/17
Grain Size Determination

The different methods of grain size

determination are:
Etching austenite grain boundaries,
The method of the network of ferrite (for
steels with a carbon content of up to 0.6%) or
Cementite (for hypereutectoid steels), and
The method of the pearlite network for steels
that are closer in composition to eutectoid

Grain size and Hardenability

In hereditarily coarse-grained steels a grain gradually

and uniformly becomes larger as the temperature is
raised above Ac3.
In hereditarily fine-grained steels, fine grains are
preserved up to about 950C.
On transition through to the coarsening temperature,
separate grains start growing intensively and
variations in grain size arise.
Near 11001200C, grains of hereditarily fine-grained
steels may be even larger than those of hereditarily
coarse-grained steels.
We can explain such differences in the growth of
grains in steels by the differences in number and 2/12/17
Grain size and Hardenability

These particles continue to retard grain boundary

movement until temperatures at which the particles
dissolve in austenite are reached .
The barrier effect of the particles diminishes non
uniformly, which leads to variations in grain size.
If a noticeable growth of austenite grains is not
observed for 8 hr after carburization at 925C, the steel
is assumed to be a hereditarily fine-grained one.
Extra-pure steels, produced with a minimum amount of
foreign impurities, nitrogen and oxygen, are
distinguished by a rapid growth of grains above the
critical point Ac3.

Austenite Grain Size and Hardenability
In usual commercial steels, a grain size of 2025 m
corresponds to standard heating for quenching,
normalization, or annealing. At 12001250C, the
grain size reaches 0.1 mm, and in large forgings and
welds, grains of several millimeters in size occur. In
ingots and castings, grains can be as large as several
In a high alloy steel with austenite stabilizing
elements, the austenite structure is fixed during
cooling to or below room temperature and the steel
grain is equal to the initial austenite grain.
In case of transformation to pearlite, for example, for
a hypereutectoid steel the size of the pearlite colony,
characterized by the same crystallographic 2/12/17
Austenite Grain Size and Hardenability
A pearlite colony usually differs in size from an
austenite grain.
Several pearlite colonies are formed in every
austenite grain
The case of the ferritepearlite structure of a
hypoeutectoid steel is also similar, where a network
of excess ferrite is formed at grain boundaries.
This indicates a connection between a grain of a
thermally treated steel and the initial austenite
When steel is quenched, a large number of
martensite crystals appear in every austenite grain
connected by certain orientation relationships.
For this reason a correlation is easily seen between
Grain Refinement

If a hypoeutectoid steel is heated sufficiently

slowly, austenite is often formed as same-
oriented sections.
As the temperature is raised, excess ferrite
dissolves in these sections and when ferrite
dissolves completely, newly formed grains of
austenite fully duplicate the initial austenite
By increasing the heating rate, sections of
austenite with a different orientation appear.
The growth stops on complete dissolution of the
excess ferrite.
An anomalous dependence of the point A c3 on 2/12/17
Normalizing as grain refinement

In 1868, Tchernov showed that it was possible to

refine a coarse grained structure. Since then, the
procedure has been widely used for treatment of
steel products.
The grain refinement, which takes place on
heating steels above the temperature Ac3, is
related to a transition to the austenite state
through nucleation of numerous centers of the
austenite phase, development of which leads to
formation of a relatively fine-grained structure.
Above Ac3, the cross-sectional size of the grain is
1030 m.
Effect of Austenite Grain Size on
transformation Products

A fine-grained structure of the restored austenite

provides a fine-grained structure of cooled steel
irrespective of the structural components are formed,
viz. pearlite, bainite, or martensite.
This is due to the fact that all the transformation
products nucleate within each separate grain of
Excess phases (ferrite in hypoeutectoid steels and
cementite in hypereutectoid steels) precipitate at
boundaries of small austenite grains, and smaller
pearlite colonies form.
Fine austenite grains result in fine-needle martensite.

Effect of Austenite Grain Size on
transformation Products
This underlines the grain refinement effect when heating
to above Ac3 during full annealing, normalization, or
quenching, followed by recrystallization.
With an initially coarse-grained structure, recrystallization
results in refinement of grains on heating to Ac3
If the steel is heated to a temperature much higher than
Ac3, the grain growth takes place, and the expected
structure correction transformation does not take place
during the .
Grain refinement is observed when there are many
nucleation sites for transformation to the austenite inside
the initial structure having a random orientation. This is
not connected with the orientation of the -phase in the
initial structure. 2/12/17
Segregation and Hardenability
Certain ingot casting and hot reduction practices
may develop localized inhomogeneities within a
given heat, further complicating hardenability
Segregation of carbon, manganese, and other
elements always occur during ingot pouring and
The hardenability of the steel in these segregated
portions will differ from that in the remainder of the
Specimens from the top of the ingot have higher
hardenability than steel from the middle, and
specimens from the bottom of the ingot will have
lower hardenability than from the middle. 2/12/17
Specifying a Steel with Desired

The basic information needed to specify a steel

with adequate hardenability are:
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 in hardening
The quenching medium to be used

As Quenched Hardness Versus
Tempered Hardness
Hardness, HRC
As quenched

Hardness desired after

Tempering, HRC
Percentage Martensite versus Hardness
Hardness, HRC

Steel Selection based on Hardenability

To ensure optimum properties, select the steel with the

lowest carbon content that will produce the indicated as-
quenched hardness using the quenching medium
available (or one that can be made available).
If the above is ensured, desired hardness would be
obtained and a minimum of 90% martensitic structure
could be achieved, which is the common and practical
definition of full hardening employed by the SAE
For components subjected to bending in service, it is
considered adequate to have 90% martensite at the
three quarter- radius location. To ensure this, hardness
levels are specified at half-radius.

Selection of Depth of Hardening
The cost of a component depends on the desired
hardenability and therefore on the depth and
percentage of martensite to which parts are hardened,
which in turn affects its serviceability.
Hardening to 80% martensite at three-quarter-radius of
the part as finished may be sufficient in parts not highly
stressed in bending; in some parts, which are designed
for low deflection under load, and the exterior regions
are only moderately stressed, required depth may be
even less.
For some parts loaded principally in tension and others
operating at high hardness levels, such as springs of all
types, through hardening is done.
In automobile leaf springs, the leaves are designed with
a low section modulus in the direction of loading. The2/12/17
Hardenability Vs Carbon content

Figure shows
relationship between
hardness in HRC and
carbon content for
different percentages
of Martensite.

Hardenability Influencing Factors

The hardness distribution within a cross section

depends on:
The hardness variation from surface to the core for
given quenching conditions
Carbon content and alloying elements dissolved in
austenite during austenitizing treatment
Austenite grain size
From the figure (next slide), it is clear that despite
having high carbon content, the steel has the lowest
hardenability and a steel having high alloying
elements contents has highest hardenability
Required hardenability is the most important factor
influencing a choice between carbon- and alloy steel.
Hardenability Influencing Factors

Hardness distribution within

cross sections of 100 mm
diameter bars for three
grades of steels
AISI D2: C:1.4/1.6; Mn: 0.2/0.6;
S & P:0.03 max Si: 0.1/0.6, Cr:
11.0/13.0, Mo: 0.7/1.2; V: 0.5/1.1,
Co: 1.0 max
AISI O1: C: 0.85/1.0;
Mn:1.0/1.4; S & P: 0.03 max, Si:
0.1/0.5; Cr: 0.4/0.6; V: 0.3 max,
W: 0.4/0.6

Hardenability Influencing Factors

Hardness distribution after quenching depends on

many factors:
A high hardenability steel achieves high
hardness throughout its entire cross section,
(even in heavy section), even under milder
quenching severities.
A low hardenability steel quenched in most
severe quenching conditions, has drastic
hardness drop across its cross section.
Shallow hardening steels may attain higher
maximum hardness at the surface than alloyed
steels but the hardness values across the cross
section will be lower. 2/12/17
Hardenability Depth of Hardening

Quenching conditions include the specific

quenchant with its inherent chemical and
physical properties, and important process
parameters such as bath temperature and
agitation rate.
The cross-sectional shape influences the heat
extraction during quenching and on the resulting
hardening depth.
The depth of hardening achieved by bars of
rectangular cross sections is less than round bars
of the same cross-sectional size.
A diagram that can be used to convert square
and rectangular cross sections to equivalent 2/12/17
Hardenability Cross section

cross sections
and their
according to

Hardenability Influencing Factors

The influence of cross-sectional size when

quenching the same grade of steel under the same
quenching conditions is shown in next slide (A).
Steeper hardness decreases from surface to core
and substantially lower core hardness values result
from quenching a larger cross section.
(B) shows the influence of hardenability and
quenching conditions by comparing an unalloyed
(shallow-hardening) steel to an alloyed steel of high
hardenability when each is quenched in (a) water or
(b) oil.

Hardenability Depth of Hardening

Influence of Cross-sectional size on the depth of

a. Water quenching
b. oil quenching

Hardenability Depth of Hardening

Influence of Hardenability and quenching conditions

on the depth of hardening.
a. Water quenching
oil quenching.

crit -
Hardenability Size and Quench
The critical cooling rate (crit) of the unalloyed steel
is higher, resulting in martensite transformation
martensite and high hardness only in a part of the
cross section having higher cooling rate.
This can be achieved up to some depth only by
quenching in water (curve a); oil quenching (curve
b) provides essentially no hardness increase.
Alloy steel quenched in water (because of the high
cooling rate) has a cooling rate greater than crit
even in the core, resulting in through-hardening.
Oil quenching (curve b) provides cooling rates
higher than crit within quite a large depth of
hardening. Only the core region remains unchanged.
Hardenability Grossmann Factor
In Grossmanns method of testing hardenability, a
number of cylindrical steel bars of different diameters
are hardened in a given quenching medium.
After sectioning each bar at mid diameter and
examining it metallographically, the bar that has 50%
martensite at its center is selected, and the diameter
of this bar is designated as the critical diameter (Dcrit).
The hardness value at exactly the centre of the bar of
Dcrit corresponds to 50% martensite.
Bars with diameters smaller than Dcrit have more than
50% martensite in the center of the cross section and
higher hardness, while bars having diameters larger
than Dcrit attain 50% martensite only up to a certain
Hardenability Grossmanns factor

The critical diameter Dcrit is valid for the

quenching medium in which the bars have
been quenched.
If one varies the quenching medium, a
different critical diameter will be obtained for
the same steel.
Grossmann quenching intensity (severity)
factor H is used to identify a quench medium
and its condition.
Table given in next slide gives the H values
for oil, water, and brine under various rates2/12/17
Grossmann Quenching Intensity Factor

Method of H values (in-1)

quenching Oil Water Brine

No Agitation 0.25-0.30 1.0 2.0

Mild agitation 0.30-0.35 1.0-1.1 2.0-2.2
Moderate agitation 0.35-0.40 1.2-1.3
Good agitation 0.40-0.50 14-1.5
Strong agitation 0.50-0.80 1.6-2.0
Violent agitation 0.80-1.10 4.0 5.0

Ideal Critical Diameter

Grossmann introduced Ideal critical diameter D I, to

determine the hardenability of a steel independent of
the quenching medium.
It is defined as the diameter of a given steel that
produces 50% martensite at the center when
quenched in a bath of quenching intensity H = .
Here, H = indicates a hypothetical quenching
intensity that reduces the surface temperature of the
heated steel to the bath temperature in zero time.
A chart that allows the conversion of any value of
critical diameter Dcrit for a given H value to the
corresponding value of ideal critical diameter (DI) of
the steel in question is available. 2/12/17
Hardenability Grossman
Critical Diameter

A round bar of steel A after quenching in still water (

H = 1.0), has a critical diameter ( D crit) of 28 mm
This corresponds to an ideal critical diameter (D I) of
48 mm.
Another round bar, constructed of steel B, after
quenching in oil ( H = 0.4), has a critical diameter
( Dcrit) of 20 mm which corresponds to an ideal
critical diameter (DI) of 52 mm.
Thus, steel B has a higher hardenability than steel A.
This indicates that DI is a measure of steel
hardenability that is independent of the quenching

Quenching Intensity and Critical Diameter

Quenching Intensity and Critical Diameter

Ideal Critical Diameter

The ideal critical

diameter (DI) as a
function of the
carbon content and
austenite grain size
for plain carbon
steels, according to

Determination of Critical Diameter

If DI is known for a particular steel, using the

graph in previous slide, the critical diameter
of that steel for various quenching media can
be determined.
For low- and medium-alloy steels,
hardenability as determined by DI may be
calculated from the chemical composition
after accounting for austenite grain size.

Calculation of DI Values

factors for
DI value,
according to

Calculation of DI Values

factors for
y of high-
steels of

Calculation of DI Values

g factors
n of
lity of
steels of
annealed 2/12/17
Calculation of DI Values
The basic hardenability of the steel as a function of
carbon content and austenite grain size is calculated
from the chart (Slide 54) according to the weight
percent of each element present.
If a steel has an austenite grain size of ASTM 7 and
the chemical composition C 0.25%, Si 0.3%, Mn 0.7%,
Cr 1.1%, Mo 0.2%, then the basic value of
hardenability from Slide 52 (inches) is DI = 0.17.
The total hardenability of this steel is DI = 0.17 x1.2
x 3.3 x 3.4 x 1.6 = 3.7 in.
For these calculations, it is presumed that the total
amount of each element is in solution at the
austenitizing temperature.
Therefore the diagrams in Slides 55 and 56 are 2/12/17
Calculation of DI Values

Because conventional hardening temperatures

used for these steels are lower than required for
complete dissolution of the carbides, the derived
DI values are lower.
Decreases in the basic hardenability can be
expected for steels containing more than 0.8% C,
compared to values in the chart.
There are similar diagrams that take care of this
decrease in the basic hardenability in steels with
more than 0.8% C, compared to the values shown
in the diagram
Although values of DI calculated as above are only
approximate, they are useful for comparing the2/12/17
Grossmanns Hardenability

While Grossmann hardenability concept is mostly

accurate, the quenching intensity is not constant during
the entire quenching process.
Because of this, due to changing interface between steel
quenchant, heat transfer coefficients change during
different stages of the quenching process.
It is difficult to determine of the H value for a cross-
sectional size other than the experimental one, since H
values depend on cross-sectional size.
The H value determined in this way passes through a
maximum with respect to terminal temperatures.
H values at the centres of round bars decrease with
increasing diameter
Grossmanns Hardenability
Values of the quenching intensity factor H do not
depend on specific quenchant and its
characteristics such as composition, viscosity, or
the bath temperature.
Table of H values do not specify the agitation rate
of the quenchant either uniformly or precisely;
since the uniformity throughout the quench tank
with respect to mass flow or fluid turbulence is
While in literature, tabulated H values are given
they cannot be accurate for all cases since the
conditions of uniformity of the quenchant and fluid
turbulence are not known and the size of the
component has significant influence on these. 2/12/17
Hardenability - Low Carbon Steels

One of the major reasons for Heat treatment is to improve

The poor machinability of the low-carbon steels, except those
containing sulfur or other special alloying elements is
principally due to the high proportion of free ferrite to carbide.
Machinability can be improved by putting the carbide in its
most voluminous form, pearlite, and dispersing this pearlite
evenly throughout the ferrite mass.
Though Normalizing is commonly used with success, results
obtained by quenching the steel in oil from a temperature of
about 815 to 870 C are much better.
In low carbon steels except 1025 and 1524, no martensite is
formed, and the parts do not require tempering

Hardenability - Medium Carbon Steels

Carbon steels containing 0.25 to 0.55% C are

normally used in the hardened and tempered
condition because of their higher carbon
A wide range of mechanical properties can be
produced in these steels by varying the
quenching medium (cooling rate) and tempering
These steels are the most versatile of the three
groups of carbon steels, and are most commonly
used for crank-shafts, couplings, tie-rods, and
other machinery parts that require hardness
values in the range of 229 to 444 HB.
Hardenability - Medium Carbon Steels
This group of steels includes water-hardening and
oil-hardening types, whose hardenability is very
sensitive to changes in chemical composition,
particularly to carbon content, manganese, silicon,
and residual elements and grain size.
The rate of the heating of parts for quenching
influences hardenability in following conditions:
With very fast heating (such as may be obtained in
liquid baths), carbides do not get sufficient time for
dissolving in austenite by diffusion of carbon and
other elements in austenite.
In steels having banding or those without proper
normalizing or annealing, such rapid heating may 2/12/17
Hardenability - Medium Carbon Steels
In heating steels containing free carbide (e.g.
spheroidized material), it is necessary to provide
sufficient time for the carbides to dissolve, otherwise
carbon content of the austenite at the time of
quenching will be lower than is represented by the
chemical composition of the steel, and poor results
may be obtained.
Sometimes this condition may be produced
deliberately to avoid distortion or cracking.
Medium-carbon steels should be either normalized or
annealed before hardening to obtain the best
mechanical properties after hardening and tempering.
Parts produced directly from bar stock may not be
heat treated prior to hardening, but forgings are 2/12/17
Hardenability - Medium Carbon Steels

Medium-carbon steels are widely used for machinery

parts for moderate duty.
Maximum hardness range specified when such parts
are to be machined after heat treatment is 321 BHN,
and less in most cases.
Water is most commonly used quenching medium
because it is economical and the easiest to install.
Caustic soda solution (5 to 10% NaOH by weight):
Improved results, since it is a faster and therefore a
more thorough and uniform quench compared to
water, and provides better mechanical properties in
all but light sections.
Because of its rapid action, more scale is removed
Hardenability High carbon steels

The hardenability effects of carbon and alloying

elements in high carbon and case regions of
carburized steels cannot be compared with low and
medium carbon steels since they are influenced by
austenitizing temperatures and prior microstructure.
Using Grossmanns method for characterizing
hardenability in terms of the ideal critical diameter D I,
multiplying factors for the hardenability effects of Mn,
Si, Cr, Ni, Mo, and Al were successfully derived for
carbon levels ranging from 0.75 to 1.10% C in single-
alloy and multiple-alloy steels quenched at different
austenitizing temperatures from 800 to 930 C.

Hardenability High Carbon Steels

All of these steels, when quenched, normally

contain an excess of undissolved carbides, which
means that the quantity of carbon and alloying
elements in solution could vary with the prior
microstructure and the austenitizing conditions.
The hardenability of these steels is influenced by
the carbide size, shape, and distribution in the prior
microstructure and by austenitizing temperature
and time.
Grain size exhibits a lesser effect because
hardenability does not vary greatly from ASTM 6 to
9 when excess carbides are present
Hardenability High Carbon Steels/
Carburized parts

Homogenous high-carbon alloy steels are usually

spheroidize-annealed for machining prior to hardening.
Carburizing steel grades are either normalized, i.e., air-
cooled, or quenched in oil directly from the carburizing
temperature before reheating for hardening.
So different case microstructures (from martensite to
lamellar pearlite) may be present, all of which transform
to austenite rather easily during reheating for hardening.
During quenching, however, the undissolved carbides will
nucleate pearlite prematurely and act to reduce

Hardenability High Carbon Steels
In spheroidize-annealed steel, the carbides are
present as large spheroids, which are much more
difficult to dissolve during heating for hardening.
The alloy and carbon dissolution is less in case of a
spheroidized compared to a normalized or
quenched microstructure.
With spheroidized prior microstructure, higher
hardenability is possible than a prior normalized
microstructure, at least for austenitizing
temperatures up to approximately 855oC.
This is due to larger carbides are not as efficient
nuclei for early pearlite formation upon cooling as
fine and lamellar carbides and the nuclei are
present in lower numbers.
Hardenability High Carbon Steels

Austenitizing temperatures are selected considering

the possible variations in composition, grain size,
section size, and quenching medium or cooling rate.
For the higher manganese steels, light sections,
coarse-grained material, and water quenching,
lower temperatures are used; and higher
temperatures are used for lower-manganese steels,
heavy sections, fine-grain materials, and oil
To avoid retained austenite, excessive temperatures
should be avoided.

Jominy End Quench Test

The end-quench hardenability test developed by

Jominy and Boegehold is commonly referred to as
the Jominy test.
It is used worldwide, described in many national
standards, and available as an international
This test has the following significant advantages:
1.It characterizes the hardenability of a steel from a
single specimen, allowing a wide range of cooling
rates during a single test.
2.It is reasonably reproducible.

Jominy End Quench Test
Heat the steel test specimen (25 mm diameter, 100
mm length) to the appropriate austenitizing
temperature and soak for 30 min.
Then quickly transfer to the supporting fixture (Jominy
apparatus) and quench from the lower end by
spraying with a jet of water under specified conditions
as illustrated in next slide.
The cooling rate is the highest at the end where the
water jet impinges on the specimen and decreases
from the quenched end, producing a variety of
microstructures and hardnesses as a function of
distance from the quenched end.
After quenching, grind two parallel flats,
approximately 0.45 mm below surface, on opposite 2/12/17
Jominy Test for Hardenability

Ability to form martensite

Jominy end quench test to measure hardenability.

flat ground
(heated to
phase field) Rockwell C
hardness tests
24C water
Hardness Changes with distance from
quenched end
The cooling rate varies with position.

Hardness, HRC


0 1 2 3 Distance from quenched end (in)
T(C) 0%
600 100%

Pe ine ens
0 ar P ite
M ten

M(finish) lite ea +
ar sit

rli Pe

te ar

0.1 1 10 100 1000

Time (s)
lit e

Jominy End Quench Test

Effects of Jominy Test Parameters

Based on the effect of deviations from the standard

test procedure, the following most important factors
need to be closely controlled:
Austenitization temperature and time,
Grinding of the flats of the test bar,
Prevention of grinding burns, and
Accuracy of the measured distance from the
quenched end.
Other variables such as water temperature, orifice
diameter, free water-jet height, and transfer time
from the furnace to the quenching fixture are not as
Jominy End Quench Test

When the distance is measured in millimeters,

the hardness values are taken at every 2 mm
from the quenched end for at least a total
distance of 20 or 40 mm, depending on the
steepness of the hardenability curve, and then
every 10 mm. (Slide no.77)
On the upper margin of the Jominy
hardenability diagram, approximate cooling
rates at 700C may be plotted at several
distances from the quenched end.
Jominy End Quench Test

Figure shows Jominy hardenability curves for different

unalloyed and low-alloyed grades of steel.
It illustrates the influence of carbon content on the ability to
reach a certain hardness level and
The influence of alloying elements on the hardness
distribution expressed as hardness values along the length of
the Jominy specimen.
Example: DIN Ck45 (unalloyed steel), having 0.45% C
exhibits a higher maximum hardness (value at 0 distance
from the quenched end) than DIN 30CrMoV9 steel which has
only 0.30% C.
The latter is an alloy with Cr, Mo, and V and shows a higher
hardenability by exhibiting higher hardness values along the
length of the specimen.
Jominy Values

Jominy Hardenability Curves

Jominy End Quench Test -

Use of Jominy End Quench Test

The Jominy end-quench test is used mostly for low-alloy steels for
carburizing (core hardenability) and for structural steels, which are
typically through-hardened in oils and tempered.
The Jominy end-quench test is suitable for all steels except those of
very low or very high hardenability, i.e., D 1<1.0 in. or D1>6.0in.
The standard Jominy end-quench test cannot be used for highly
alloyed air-hardened steels.
These steels harden not only by heat extraction through the
quenched end but also by heat extraction by the surrounding air.
This effect increases with increasing distance from quenched end.
Softwares are now available to calculate Jominy Hardenability
Curves (Jominy Hardenability Band)

Limitations of Jominy End Quench Test
The quenching medium influences cooling rate due to
varying thermal conductivities and specific heats.
Liquid quenchants such as brine, water or oil produce
much higher cooling rates than air quenching.
Eliminating two of the three phases of liquid quenching
(vapor and vapor-transport phases) and cooling only via
conduction can reduce distortion to a large extent.
Near net-shaped parts and higher-alloyed steels are
hardened mainly by gas quenching within vacuum
It is necessary to adapt Jominy end quench tests to take
care of cooling parameters within vacuum furnaces
continue to increase due to such factors as increased
gas velocities, increased pressures, various pedigrees of
gases and better fan designs.
H - Steels
Certain steels have hardenability requirements in
addition to the limits and ranges of chemical
For alloy steels that have specific hardenability
requirements, the suffix H is used to distinguish
these steels from similar grades that have no
hardenability requirement.
Limits and ranges of chemical composition for all
carbon steel products reflect the restrictions on
heat and product analyses.
The allowable composition ranges of H-steels are
slightly wider than those of steels melted to
composition specifications in order to 2/12/17
Using the Hardenability Curves

The minimum and maximum hardness values

at any desired distance. This method is
illustrated as points A-A and is specified as J43
to J54 = 3/16 in.
The distance selected would be that distance
on the end-quench specimen that corresponds
to the section used by the consumer
The minimum and maximum distances at which
any desired hardness value occurs. This method
is illustrated as points B-B and would be
specified as J39 = 4/16 to 9/16 in.

Two maximum hardness values at two desired

distances, illustrated as points C-C and specified as
J50 = 5/16 in. (max), J34 = 12/16 in. (max)
Two minimum hardness values at two desired
distances, illustrated as points D-D and specified as
J35 = 5/16 in. (min), J21 = 16/16 in. (min)
Any minimum hardness plus any maximum hardness,
E-E, specified as J37 max = 10/16, J32 min = 6/16
It should be noted that each H-band hardenability
limit curve is presented graphically and in tabular
form, in both metric and English units.




Hardenability Alloy Steels

Alloy steels are usually quench hardened and tempered

to the level of strength desired for the application.
The tempered martensite or bainite thus obtained
imparts toughness, the capability of deforming without
Elements which dissolve in austenite prior to quenching
increase hardenability in the following ascending order:
nickel, silicon, manganese, chromium, molybdenum,
vanadium, and boron.
The addition of several alloying elements in small
amounts is more effective in increasing hardenability
than the addition of much larger amounts of one or two
alloying elements.
Hardenability Alloy Steels

The effect of the alloying elements on

hardenability is more when they are in solution in
Chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium are
present as carbides in annealed condition, which
dissolve in austenite only at higher temperatures.
The dissolution proceeds more slowly than for iron
Hence, for better hardenability, austenitizing
temperature should be adequate to dissolve an
adequate proportion of these elements.
Hardenability Alloy Steels

The selection of a steel and the choice of

suitable austenitizing conditions should be
to obtain adequate hardenability.
The basic function of alloying of steels is to
increase hardenability and therefore the
austenitizing temperature should be
selected so that carbides are mostly
Higher hardenability is not a disadvantage,
except in terms of cost.
Hardenability Alloy Steels
Most of the alloy steel components have
relatively large sections.
Alloying elements lower martensite
transformation temperature range.
The thermal and transformational stresses
forming during quenching are greater when
compared to plain carbon steels and greater
stresses result in distortion and risk of cracking.
Functions of alloying elements to offset the
disadvantages are:
They permit the use of a lower carbon content for
a given application.
Alloying elements mostly offset the lower 2/12/17
Hardenability Alloy Steels

Lower carbon steel exhibits much lower

susceptibility to quench cracking.
This lower susceptibility is due to the greater
plasticity of the lower-carbon martensite and
from the higher martensitic start temperature
range of the lower-carbon materials.
Quench cracking is seldom encountered in
steel containing 0.25% C or less, and the
susceptibility to cracking increases with
increasing carbon content.

Hardenability Alloy Steels
Secondly, the alloying elements in quenching
permit slower rates of cooling for a given section
because of increased hardenability.
This reduces thermal gradient and the cooling
This is not altogether advantageous, because the
direction and the magnitude of the stress existing
after the quench is important in relation to
To avoid cracking, surface stresses after
quenching should be either compressive or at a
relatively low tensile level.
The use of a less drastic quench suited to the 2/12/17

The increase in hardenability of these alloy steels may

permit heat treatment by austempering or
martempering, therefore may hold the level of adverse
residual stress before tempering may be held to a
In austempering, the workpiece is cooled rapidly to a
temperature in the lower bainite region and is held at
that temperature so that the section transforms
completely to bainite.
Since transformation occurs at a relatively high
temperature and proceeds rather slowly, the stress level
after transformation is quite low, and distortion is

In martempering, the workpiece is cooled

rapidly to a temperature just above Ms, held
there until the workpiece attains a uniform
temperature throughout, and then is cooled
slowly (usually by air cooling) through the
martensite range.
This procedure causes martensite to form
more or less simultaneously throughout the
entire section, thereby holding
transformational stresses at a very low level,
which minimizes distortion and the danger of
cracking. 2/12/17
Depth of Hardening and
Strength Properties

Carbon and alloy steels hardened and tempered to same

hardness in a portion of the cross section that reacts
similarly to the quench have similar tensile properties
If carbon steel has the hardenability required by the
critical section of the part and the quench used, the
resulting tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation
in the fully hardened zone will be in the same range as in
a similar zone in an alloy steel quenched and tempered
to the same hardness.
The similarity in properties of the hardened zones is
maintained, regardless of the depth of hardening, but the
strength of the pieces will be governed by the thickness
of the respective hardened zone (depth of hardening).
Brinell Hardness and Tensile Strength

Figure in next slide shows the relationship between

hardness and tensile strength for hardened and
tempered, as-rolled, annealed, or normalized carbon
and alloy constructional steels. Because of the effect
of cold working, this relationship may not apply to
cold-drawn steels
Relation between tensile strength and Brinell
hardness for steels in the as-rolled, normalized, or
quenched and tempered condition.
The tensile strength in ksi is approximately one-half
the Brinell hardness number and in MPa is
approximately 3 times the Brinell hardness number.

Brinell Hardness and Tensile Strength

Relationship between BHN, Yield and Tensile Strengths

Effect of Tempering

Effect of tempering temperature on tensile strength and

hardness of hardened carbon and alloy steels with
carbon contents of 0.50 - 0.30%
An important
exception to
this similarity
of properties
is the
strength and
the reduction
in area.
BHN, TS and RA for Alloy and
Carbon Steels
560 1900(275)
Approximate Hardness,


Tensile strength Mpa

el s 1500(215)
lo y
Al s
e l 1300(190)
320 rb


Reduction in area,
% 2/12/17
Some important Aspects in Hardening

Important difference between carbon and

alloy steels:
for the same hardness levels, fully quenched
alloy steels require higher tempering
temperatures than do carbon steels.
This higher tempering temperature is likely to
reduce the stress level in the finished parts
without impairing mechanical properties.
Normal variations in composition and grain
size from heat to heat and even within one
heat produce a considerable scatter of results
in sections of the same size. 2/12/17
Some important Aspects in Hardening
Section size changes have a greater influence on
the mechanical properties of quenched and
tempered carbon steels than on the properties of
alloy steels because of the lower hardenability of
carbon steels.
The section size of a heat-treated section affects
both specific properties and the relation of one
property to another.
As the section size increases, incomplete
response to hardening lowers the ratio of yield
strength to tensile strength.
The tensile strength decreases as the section size
increases for a given composition and heat 2/12/17
Hardenability and carbon content

Increasing carbon content consistently increases

tensile and yield strength and decreases
elongation and reduction in area, regardless of
whether the steel is as-rolled or quenched and
tempered (when tempered in the same
temperatures ranges).
One major disadvantage to increasing the carbon
Increased tendency for cracking on quenching of
Carbon steels as the carbon content increases
above about the 0.35% level.
Parts made from steel having more than 0.35% C
should be tested for quench cracking before