Judging The Heat Of Steel
Category: HEAT TREATMENT OF STEEL
While the use of a pyrometer is of course the only way to have
accurate knowledge as to the heat being used in either forging or
hardening steels, a color chart will be of considerable assistance
if carefully studied. These have been prepared by several of the
steel companies as a guide, but it must be remembered that the colors
and temperatures given are only approximate, and can be nothing
The Magnet Test.--The critical point can also be determined by
an ordinary horse-shoe magnet. Touch the steel with a magnet during
the heating and when it reaches the temperature at which steel fails
to attract the magnet, or in other words, loses its magnetism,
the critical point has been reached.
The work is heated up slowly in the furnace and the magnet applied
from time to time. The steel being heated will attract the magnet
until the heat reaches the critical point. The magnet is applied
frequently and when the magnet is no longer attracted, the piece
is at the lowest temperature at which it can be hardened properly.
Quenching slightly above this point will give a tool of satisfactory
hardness. The method applies only to carbon steels and will not
work for modern high-speed steels.
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