Annealing Of High-speed Steel
For annealing high-speed steel, some makers recommend using ground
mica, charcoal, lime, fine dry ashes or lake sand as a packing
in the annealing boxes. Mixtures of one part charcoal, one part
lime and three parts of sand are also suggested, or two parts of
ashes may be substituted for the one part of lime.
To bring about the softest structure or machine ability of high-speed
steel, it should be packed in charcoal in boxes or pipes, carefully
sealed at all points, so that no gases will escape or air be admitted.
It should be heated slowly to not less than 1,450 deg.F. and the steel
must not be removed from its packing until it is cool. Slow heating
means that the high heat must have penetrated to the very core of
When the steel is heated clear through it has been in the furnace
long enough. If the steel can remain in the furnace and cool down
with it, there will be no danger of air blasts or sudden or uneven
cooling. If not, remove the box and cover quickly with dry ashes,
sand or lime until it becomes cold.
Too high a heat or maintaining the heat for too long a period,
produces a harsh, coarse grain and greatly increases the liability
to crack in hardening. It also reduces the strength and toughness
of the steel.
Steel which is to be used for making tools with teeth, such as
taps, reamers and milling cutters, should not be annealed too much.
When the steel is too soft it is more apt to tear in cutting and
makes it more difficult to cut a smooth thread or other surface.
Moderate annealing is found best for tools of this kind.
Next: Tool Or Crucible Steel