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Steel Making

Affinity Of Nickel Steel For Carbon
The carbon- and nickel-steel gears are carburized separately...

Rate Of Absorption
According to Guillet, the absorption of carbon is favored by ...

Tensile Properties
Strength of a metal is usually expressed in the number of pou...

Ebbw Vale And The Bessemer Process
After his British Association address in August 1856, Besseme...

Correction For Cold-junction Errors
The voltage generated by a thermo-couple of an electric pyrom...

Calibration Of Pyrometer With Common Salt
An easy and convenient method for standardization and one whi...

Nickel may be considered as the toughest among the non-rare a...

Carbon In Tool Steel
Carbon tool steel, or tool steel as it is commonly called, us...

Heating Of Manganese Steel
Another form of heat-treating furnace is that which is used ...

Carburizing Low-carbon Sleeves
Low-carbon sleeves are carburized and pushed on malleable-ir...

A Satisfactory Luting Mixture
A mixture of fireclay and sand will be found very satisfactor...

Temperature Recording And Regulation
Each furnace is equipped with pyrometers, but the reading an...

Compensating Leads
By the use of compensating leads, formed of the same materia...

Piston Pin
The piston pin on an aviation engine must possess maximum res...

High-chromium Or Rust-proof Steel
High-chromium, or what is called stainless steel containing f...

Composition And Properties Of Steel
It is a remarkable fact that one can look through a dozen tex...

Pickling The Forgings
The forgings were then pickled in a hot solution of either ni...

Heat Treatment Of Gear Blanks
This section is based on a paper read before the American Gea...

Highly Stressed Parts
The highly stressed parts on the Liberty engine consisted of ...

Short Method Of Treatment
In the new method, the packed pots are run into the case-har...

Quenching Tool Steel


To secure proper hardness, the cooling of quenching of steel is
as important as its heating. Quenching baths vary in nature, there
being a large number of ways to cool a piece of steel in contrast
to the comparatively few ways of heating it.

Plain water, brine and oil are the three most common quenching
materials. Of these three the brine will give the most hardness,
and plain water and oil come next. The colder that any of these
baths is when the piece is put into it the harder will be the steel;
but this does not mean that it is a good plan to dip the heated
steel into a tank of ice water, for the shock would be so great
that the bar would probably fly to pieces. In fact, the quenching
bath must be sometimes heated a bit to take off the edge of the

Brine solutions will work uniformly, or give the same degree of
hardness, until they reach a temperature of 150 deg.F. above which
their grip relaxes and the metals quenched in them become softer.
Plain water holds its grip up to a temperature of approximately
100 deg.F.; but oil baths, which are used to secure a slower rate of
cooling, may be used up to 500 deg. or more. A compromise is sometimes
effected by using a bath consisting of an inch or two of oil floating
on the surface of water. As the hot steel passes through the oil,
the shock is not as severe as if it were to be thrust directly
into the water; and in addition, oil adheres to the tool and keeps
the water from direct contact with the metal.

The old idea that mercury will harden steel more than any other
quenching material has been exploded. A bath consisting of melted
cyanide of potassium is useful for heating fine engraved dies and
other articles that are required to come out free from scale. One
must always be careful to provide a hood or exhaust system to get
rid of the deadly fumes coming from the cyanide pot.

The one main thing to remember in hardening tool steel is to quench
on a rising heat. This does not mean a rapid heating as a slow
increase in temperature is much better in every way.

Next: The Theory Of Tempering

Previous: Double Annealing

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