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TITLE Heat treatment



At the end of this experiment student should be able:

a) To study the processes of heat treating of steel. b) To study the effects of heat treatment on the microstructure and mechanical properties of materials. c) To examine microstructures of steel in relation to hardness.



Heat treatment is a process to change characteristics of metals and alloys in order to make them more suitable for a particular kind of application. The purpose of heat treating is to make a metal more useful by changing or restoring its mechanical properties. Through heat treating, we can make a metal harder, stronger, and more resistant to impact. Also, heat treating can make a metal softer and more ductile. Heat treatment is a method used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material. Heat treatment involves the use of heating or chilling, normally to extreme temperatures, to achieve a desired result such as hardening or softening of a material. Techniques in heat treatment include annealing, normalizing, hardening, and tempering .

No. 1.

Types Annealing

Process Annealing is a rather generalized term. Annealing consists of heating a metal to a specific temperature and then cooling at a rate that will produce a refined microstructure.The rate of cooling is generally slow. Annealing is most often used to soften a metal for cold working, to improve machinability, or to enhance properties like electrical conductivity.


Normalizing Normalizing is a technique used to provide uniformity in grain size and composition throughout an alloy. The term is often used for ferrous alloys that have been heated above the upper critical temperature and then cooled in open air. Normalizing not only produces pearlite, but also bainite and sometimes martensite, which gives harder and stronger steel, but with less ductility for the same composition than full annealing.



The hardening treatment for most steels consists of heating the steel to a set temperature and then cooling it rapidly by plunging it into oil, water, or brine. Hardening increases the hardness and strength of the steel, but makes it less ductile. Generally, the harder the steel, the more brittle it becomes.



Tempering consists of heating the steel to a specific temperature, holding it at that temperature for the required length of time, and then cooling it, usually instill air. The purpose of tempering is to reduce the brittleness imparted by hardening and to produce definite physical properties within the steel.

Table 1.1: Types of Heat Treatment

The various types of heat-treating processes are similar because they all involve the heating and cooling of metals; but differ in the heating temperatures and the cooling rates used and the final results. Heat treating is accomplished in three major stages:

STAGES Heating Soaking

PROCESS Heating the metal slowly to ensure a uniform temperature. Soaking(holding) the metal at a given temperature for a given time and cooling the metal to room temperature.


Cooling the metal to room temperature.

Table 1.2 : Types of Heat -Treating processes

The primary objective in the heating stage is to maintain uniform temperatures. If uneven heating occurs, one section of a part can expand faster than another and result in distortion or cracking. Uniform temperatures are accomplished by slow heating.

After the metal is heated to the proper temperature, it is held at that temperature until the desired internal structural changes take place. This process is called soaking. After a metal has been soaked, it must be returned to room temperature to complete the heattreating process. To cool the metal, you can place it in direct contact with a cooling medium composed of a gas, liquid, solid, or combionation of these.



1. Heat treatment furnace

2. Abrasive cutting machine

3. Sand paper

4. Mild steel

5. Glove

6. Specimen holder


PROCEDURES 1. Cut the mild steel at lenght 50mm using Abrasive cutting machine for 4 pieces as a specimen. 2. Mark the specimen by number 1,2 and 3. 3. Take the 3 specimen to the heat treatment furnace. 4. Set the temperature at 870 degree calcius and maintain the temperature for one hour. 5. For cooling process first specimen cooled by water or oil,for second specimen cooled at air temperature and for the third specimen cooled in heat treatment furnace.



1. What is the purpose of heating, soaking and cooling ? i) Heating -The primary objective in the heating stage is to maintain uniform temperatures. If uneven heating occurs, one section of a part can expand faster than another and result in distortion or cracking. Uniform temperatures are attained by slow heating. The heating rate of a part depends on several factors. One important factor is the heat conductivity of the metal. A metal with a high-heat conductivity heats at a faster rate than one with a low conductivity. Also, the condition of the metal determines the rate at which it may be heated. The heating rate for hardened tools and parts should be slower than unstressed or untreated metals. Finally, size and cross section figure into the heating rate. Parts with a large cross section require slower heating rates to allow the interior temperature to remain close to the surface temperature that prevents warping or cracking. Parts with uneven cross sections experience uneven heating; however, such parts are less apt to be cracked or excessively warped when the heating rate is kept slow. ii) Soaking -After the metal is heated to the proper temperature, it is held at that temperature until the desired internal structural changes take place. This process is called SOAKING. The length of time held at the proper temperature is called the SOAKING PERIOD. The soaking period depends on the chemical analysis of the metal and the mass of the part. When steel parts are uneven in cross section, the soaking period is determine by the

largest section. During the soaking stage, the temperature of the metal is rarely brought from room temperature to the final temperature in one operation; instead, the steel is slowly heated to a temperature just below the point at which the change takes place and then it is held at that temperature until the heat is equalized throughout the metal. We call this process PREHEATING. Following preheat, the metal is quickly heated to the final required temperature. When apart has an intricate design, it may have to be preheated at more than one temperature to prevent cracking and excessive warping. For example, assume an intricate part needs to be heated to 1500F for hardening. This part could be slowly heated to 600F, soaked at this temperature, then heated slowly to 1200F, and then soaked at that temperature. Following the final preheat, the part should then be heated quickly to the hardening temperature of 1500F.

iii) Cooling

-After a metal has been soaked, it must be returned to room temperature to complete the heat treating process. To cool the metal, you can place it in direct contact with a COOLING MEDIUM composed of a gas, liquid, solid, or combination of these. The rate at which the metal is cooled depends on the metal and the properties desired. The rate of cooling depends on the medium; therefore, the choice of a cooling medium has an important influence on the properties desired. Quenching is the procedure used for cooling metal rapidly in oil, water, brine, or some other medium. Because most metals are cooled rapidly during the hardening process, quenching is usually associated with hardening; however, quenching does not always result in an increase in hardness; for example, to anneal copper, you usually quench it in water. Other metals, such as airhardened steels, are cooled at a relatively slow rate for hardening. Some metals crack easily or warp during quenching, and others suffer no ill effects; therefore, the quenching medium must be chosen to fit the metal. Brine or water is used for metals that require a rapid cooling rate, and oil mixture are more suitable for metals taht need a slower rate of cooling. Generally, carbon steels are water-hardened and alloy steels are oil-hardened. Non-ferrous metals are normally quenched in water.

2.Discussion the advantages and limitation for Heat Treatment process.

Heat treatments are an established, if obscure, method of disinfesting certain empty structures and equipment. Since the anticipated phase-out of methyl bromide fumigants, interest in this non-chemical pest management technique has been growing. Many of the advantages, disadvantages, considerations, observations, costs and results of using heat to disinfest empty food processing and storage structures are situational in reality. Like fumigation with methyl bromide, successful heat treatments depend upon trained personnel, careful preparation, employee cooperation, good weather, etc.


Some possible advantages of a heat treatment include the following:


Some possible limitation of a heat treatment include the following:

period may be longer than for a methyl bromide fumigation

3. Briefly explain the steps involved in the following heat treatment of low alloy steels.

a.) Normalizing

SAE 1040 specimen, Austenitized at 900C for 1 hour then allowed to cool in air. Similar to a Process Anneal, Normalizing is applied to reverse the embrittling effects of cold work. By heating the sample into the austenite range and allowing recrytallization, the grain structure is refined and relatively small grains are formed by allowing the sample to slow-cool in air

b) Quenching

SAE 1040 specimen, Austenitized at 900C for 1 hour, then rapidly quenched in cold water. Of the various microstructures that may be produced for a given steel alloy, martensite is the hardest and strongest and, in addition, the most brittle.

c) Tempering

SAE 1040 specimen, Austenitized at 900Cfor 1 hour then water quenched. The specimens are reheated to 400C in another furnace for 30 minutes and are then removed and allowed to cool to room termperature in air. Martensite in the as-quenched state, in addition to being very hard, is so brittle that it cannot be used for most applications. The ductility and toughness of martensite are enhanced, and the internal stresses relieved, through the Tempering process.

d) Austemperin

SAE 1040 specimen, Austenitized at 900C for 1 hour, then the specimen is quenched in a fused salt bath (mixture of Na-nitrate and Nitrite in equal proportion) that is maintained at 400C. After 30 minutes, the specimen is removed from the bath and quenched in water or allowed to air cool at room temperature. Austempering facilitates the formation of a Bainitic structure that exhibits an excellent balance between high strength and ductility.

e) Annealing

Austenitized at 900C, a previously cold-worked SAE 1040 specimen, held for 1 hour, then allowed to cool in the furnace itself by turning the oven off thus facilitating a very slow cooling of the sample. Process Annealing is used to relieve stresses, increase ductility and modify the microstructure. Process annealing involves recovery, recrystallization and grain growth.

4. Explain the effect of cooling rate and carbon content on the microstructure and properties of steels.

-A continuous-cooling-transformation (CCT) diagram was determined for a high-strength low-alloy plate steel containing (in weight percent) 0.06 C, 1.45 Mn, 1.25 Cu, 0.97 Ni, 0.72 Cr, and 0.42 Mo. Dilatometric measurements were supplemented by microhardness testing, light microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The CCT diagram showed significant suppression of polygonal ferrite formation and a prominent transformation region, normally attributed to bainite formation, at temperatures intermediate to those of polygonal ferrite and martensite formation. In the intermediate region, ferrite formation in groups of similarly oriented crystals about 1 m in size and containing a high density of dislocations dominated the transformation of austenite during continuous cooling. The ferrite grains assumed two morphologies, elongated or acicular and equiaxed or granular, leading to the terms acicular ferrite and granular ferrite, respectively, to describe these structures. Austenite regions, some transformed to martensite, were enriched in carbon and retained at interfaces between ferrite grains. Coarse interfacial ledges and the nonacicular morphology of the granular ferrite grains provided evidence for a phase transformation mechanism involving reconstructive diffusion of substitutional atoms. At slow cooling rates, polygonal ferrite and Widmansttten ferrite formed. These latter structures contained low dislocation densities and e-copper precipitates formed by an interphase transformation mechanism.



Heat treatment has a significant impact on the size, structure, and bioactivity of selenium nanoparticles. In general, the sizes of selenium nanoparticles increase and bioactivities decrease when a selenium nanoparticle solution is subjected to heat treatment. However, the thermally-activated size and structure evolution are substantially dependent upon precursor particle size, with smaller selenium nanoparticles being more resistant than larger selenium nanoparticles to transformation into nanorods during heat treatment. . 7.0 REFERENCES