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Type 4130 steel should be forged between 2250 and 1750 º F (1230 and 950 º C.) The lower the
finishing temperature from forging, the finer will be the grain size. If the alloy is forged at too
low a temperature, there is a risk of the formation of a non-uniform structure in certain areas of
the forged part


Annealing of 4130 forgings may be carried out by transferring the part straight from the forging
operation to a furnace held at a suitable temperature, around 1575 º F (860º C) for annealing,
holding for a suitable time then furnace cooling. In this way a structure suitable for machining
may be obtained. This treatment is best used for parts with simple shapes. If the forging is such
that some sections (of the forging) will finish much colder than others then a uniform structure
will not be obtained and for best results a spheroidizing anneal at around 1380 º F (750 º C) may
be used. It is safe to say that experience alone will decide the best type of annealing treatment to
be used prior to machining.


This process is defined as heating a steel to a temperature above the ferrite to austenite
transformation temperature, then cooling in air to a temperature well below this transformation
temperature. The treatment may be carried out on forged or rolled products as a conditioning
treatment prior to final heat treatment. Normalizing also serves to refine the structure of forgings
that might have cooled non-uniformly from their forging operation. The nominal normalizing
temperature for 4130 grade is 1650 º F (900 º C), but production experience may necessitate a
temperature either 50 º F (10 º C) above or below this figure. In fact when forgings are
normalized before, say, carburizing or hardening and tempering, the upper range of normalizing
temperatures is used. When normalizing is the final heat treatment, the lower temperature range
is used.


This heat treatment results in the formation of martensite after quenching, thus a great increase in
hardness and tensile strength, together with some brittleness. The steel should be austenitized –
i.e. all micro constituents transformed to austenite – at 1500 to 1600 º F (815 to 870 º C). The
actual austenitizing temperature is a function of chemical composition within the analysis range,
section size and cooling method. Smaller sections of 4130 might be quenched in oil, heavier
sections in water.


Tempering is carried out to relieve stresses from the hardening process, but primarily to obtain
mechanical properties required for the final application. The actual tempering temperature will
be chosen to meet the required properties, and in many cases will be a matter of trial and error.