Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 11

《金属材料及热处理》学生实验报告范例 课程编号:030107 课程主讲及实验课指导教师:刘国权 黄鹏

Effect of Heat Treatment on the Microstructure and


Mechanical Properties of Steel

Song Zhen 40531165


University of Science and Technology Beijing, Dept.of M.S.E

Abstract: Effect of heat treatment on the microstructure and mechanical properties of


steel 45, steel 40CrNi and steel T8 was investigated in this experiment. Specimens
undergoing different quenching/tempering temperature reveal various microstructure
and hardness. The result shows that hardness decreases with increase in tempering
temperature. Quenched at different temperature, austenite may decompose into
martensite, troosite with martensite, ferrite with cementite, and so on. Alloying
elements can increase hardenability and tempering stability of steel.

Keywords: heat treatment; steel; quenching; tempering; hardness; hardenability

1. Introduction
Metals and alloys develop requisite properties by heat treatment which plays a critical role in
achieving appropriate microstructure that imparts the desired characteristics in a given material.
Heat treatment consists of annealing, normalizing, quenching and tempering. Different phase
transformations take place during heat treatment. This experiment is executed to probe the effect
of different heat treatment parameters on the microstructure and mechanical properties of steels.

2. Specification of desired Heat Treatment processes


2.1 Coarse-grained Martensite and fine-grained Martensite
In order to obtain full Martensite, the quenching temperature should be set 30-50 °C above

Ac 3 for hypoeutectoid steels. The grain size of Martensite is determined by that of Austenite.
Austenite appears during heating of a ferrite-carbide mixture, growth centers of the austenite
phase are very numerous, and initially austenite grains are extremely small, on the order of
10-20 μ m .But with an increase in the heating temperature or holding time in the austenite range,
the grains begin to grow intensively, which means the coarsening of martensite grain.[1]. The
quenching temperature of Coarse-grained Martensite should be higher than that of Fine-grained
Martensite.
2.2 Troosite and Martensite
With a lower cooling rate, not all the austenite transforms to martensite. Partial retained
austenite transforms to troosite according to the TTT diagram. Microstructure after quenching
consists of Martensite and troosite.
2.3 Ferrite and Pearlite
Ferrite-Pearlite can be obtained by slow cooling (usually in the air) after Austenitized, which
is usually referred as Normalizing.
2.4 Ferrite and Martensite

As to low carbon steels, when held at temperature between Ac1 and Ac 3 , Ferrite and

Austenite are obtained. If quenched at higher cooling rate, Austenite transforms to Marstenite and
Ferrite remains in the steel.
2.5 Three stages of Tempering [2]
(a) The first stage of tempering is also referred to as low temperature tempering. This
results in the formation of a low carbon martensite and a carbide by transformation of high carbon
martensite. The low carbon martensite is usually referred as tempered-martensite. As far as
mechanical properties are concerned, marginal decreases in hardness value takes place at this
stage. Excellent wear resistance and reduced internal stresses are the characteristics of hardened
steel tempered in this stage.
(b) The second stage of tempering consists of heating steels in the temperature range
varying from 350-500 °C . During this stage, retained austenite transforms to tempered-troosite.
Another name given to this stage is medium temperature tempering. Ductility and toughness
increase by this treatment with a corresponding decrease in hardness and strength.
(c) The third stage of tempering is also popularly known as high temperature tempering. It
consists of heating steel within a temperature range of 500-600 °C . Heating to such high
temperature results in the formation of ferrite-cementite mixture which is referred as tempered
sorbite.
The cooling rate has no effect on the microstructure of steels after being tempered.
2.6 Identification of desired heat treatment process
As to desired microstructure, the whole heat treatment processes are listed in Table.2.
Relative standard heat treatment parameters, such as critical temperatures, commonly used
quenching temperature and quenching media, is shown in Table.3.
3. Material and specimen preparation
Three kinds of specimens were prepared for Heat treatment and Hardness test: steel 45, steel
40CrNi and steel T8. The chemical composition and geometrical size are show in Table.1. Of each
kind, ten specimens were prepared for various Heat treatment operations.
 
Table.1 Chemical Composition and Geometrical Size[3] 

Chemical Composition (wt%)


Diameter/
Steel
mm
C Si Mn Cr Ni Cu S P Mo

45 10 0.42-0.50 0.17-0.37 0.50-0.80 ≤ 0.25 ≤ 0.30 ≤ 0.25 ≤ 0.035 ≤ 0.035 -

40CrNi 12 0.37-0.44 0.17-0.37 0.50-0.80 0.45-0.75 1.00-1.40 ≤ 0.30 ≤ 0.035 ≤ 0.035 ≤ 0.15
0.75-0. ≤ 0.03 ≤ 0.03
T8 15 ≤ 0.35 ≤ 0.40 - - - -
84 0 5

4. Heat Treatment
Heat treatment processes of all the specimens are identified as show in Table.2
Tabel.2 Microstructure & Heat Treatment Process (without tempering) & Hardness 

Microstructure Coarse-grained Fine-grained Troosite and Ferrite and Ferrite and


Steel Martensite Martensite Martensite Pearlite Martensite

Hardness/HRC 54.8 56.5 26.8 7.7 42.0

Quenching

Temperature/ 1000 840 840 840 770


45 °C
Heat
Holding
Treatment 30 30 30 30 30
Time/min

Quenching
Water Water Oil Air Water(Agitating)
Media

46. 43.
Hardness/HRC 50.2 49.7 34.5 40.9
9 3
Quenching

Temperature/ 1000 840 840 840 840 770


40Cr
°C
Ni Heat
Holding
Treatment 30 30 20 30 30 30
Time/min

Quenching
Oil Oil Air Oil Air Oil
Media

Hardness/HRC 62.9 64.5 29.8 13.3

Quenching

Temperature/ 1000 770 770 770


T8 °C
Heat
Holding
Treatment 30 30 30 30
Time/min

Quenching Water
Water Oil Air
Media (Agitating)

Tempered Tempered Tempered


Martensite Troosite Sorbite

Quenching Hardness/HRC 53.4 49.1 39.6 31.1 21.5


Temperature:
Tempering
840 °C 200 300 400 500 600
Temperature/ °C
45 Holding
Holding
Time: 30min 40 40 40 40 40
Time/min
Quenching
Media: Water Cooling Media Air Air Air Air Air

40CrNi Quenching Hardness/HRC 46.7 46.3 40.1 36.6 29.4


Temperature: Tempering
200 300 400 500 600
840 °C Temperature/ °C
Holding Holding
40 40 40 40 40
Time: 30min Time/min
Quenching
Cooling Media Air Air Air Air Air
Media: Oil

Quenching Hardness/HRC 58.8 56.8 45.0 36.9 25.5


Temperature:
Tempering
770 °C 200 300 400 500 600
Temperature/ °C
T8 Holding
Holding
Time: 30min 40 40 40 40 40
Time/min
Quenching
Media: Water Cooling Media Air Air Air Air Air

Table.3. Standard Heat Treatment Parameters (Critical Temperature, Quenching


Parameters, Hardness)[4] 

Critical
Quenching Tempering (temp/ °C )
Temperature/ °C
Hardness after Tempering at different
Steel Ac1 Ac 3 Ms
Quenching Hardness/ temperatures/HRC
Temp/ °C
Media HRC
Ar1 Ar 3 Mr 150 200 300 400 500 550 600 650

724 780 330


45 840 Water/Oil ≥ 59 58 55 50 41 33 26 22 -
682 751 50
731 769 -
40CrNi 820-840 Oil ≥ 53 53 50 47 42 33 29 26 23
660 702 -
730 740 230
T8 800 Water/Oil 62-64 64 60 55 45 35 31 27 -
700 - -55
 
Three groups of all the specimens are divided according to their quenching temperature and
are held at temperature 1000 °C ,840 °C ,770 °C individually in three furnaces. Quenching
process is executed after holding time 30min. The specimens required tempered are tempered at
various temperatures in another five furnaces. After holding time 40min and cooled to ambient
temperature all the specimens are ready for hardness test.
5. Hardness Test
In this experiment, Rockwell Hardness Test is used to measure hardness of specimens.
Before hardness test, the surfaces of the specimen are smoothed on the sand paper for the
upper and lower surfaces should be parallel for hardness test. The hardness of all the specimens
are recorded in Table.2
6. Metallography
Metallographic investigations are carried out after the specimens corroded by nitric acid. The
specimens are pictured with magnification ×100 and ×400.
7. Results and Discussions

7.1 Effect of quenching temperature on microstructure and mechanical properties [5][6]


When hypoeutetoid steels are heated to about 30-50 °C above the upper critical

temperature Ac 3 , Ferrite and pearlite transform to austenite. This austenite transforms to

martensite on rapid quenching from hardening temperature. Fine-grained martensite can be


obtained from fine-grained austenite, as depicted in Fig.1. The presence of martensite accounts for
high hardness of quenched steels.

Fig.1. Fine‐gained martensite in steel 45
But with an increase in heating temperature austenite grains grow intensively and
coarse-grained martensite is obtained instead of fine-grained martensite, as depicted in Fig.2.
Coarse-grained steel provides less nucleating sites for pearlite transformation, and hardness
increases. But the increase in hardenability is associated with poor impact properties, quench
crack susceptibility, and loss of ductility.

Fig.2. Coarse‐grained martensite in steel 45
If hypoeutectoid steel is heated to a hardening temperature between Ac1 and Ac 3 , the

structure will consist of ferrite and austenite. This will transform to ferrite and martensite on
quenching. Ferrite, a very soft phase, lowers the hardness of hardened steel considerably. This is
also known as incomplete hardening. Table.4 shows the hardness variation against quenching
temperature for hypoeutectoid steels.

Table.4. Hardness variation against quenching temperature in steel 45

Quenching temperature/ °C 840 770


Microstructure Fine-grained Martensite Ferrite and Martensite
Hardness/HRC 56.5 56.5

The preferred hardening temperature for eutecoid and hypereutectoid steel lies between the

lower critical temperature ( A1 ) and the upper critical temperature ( Acm ),about 30-50 °C above

the lower critical temperature. The advantage gained from hardening temperature in this range is
two-fold. The first is related to the presence of cementite in hardened steel. The cementite in a
martensite matrix accounts for several desirable properties. Wear resistance is one of them. The
fact that both martensite and cementite are hard constituents is responsible for high wear
resistance of the resulting microstructure. Cementite is harder than martensite and so wear
resistance of the two phase microstructure is better than what is achieved by martensite alone. The
second advantage of this hardening temperature is the attainment of fine martensite in the final
structure. In fact, heating of hypereutectoid steel above the upper critical temperature for
hardening is detrimental because such a high temperature will result in coarsening of austenitic
grains and decarburization at the surface. Coarse austenite will transform to coarse acicular
martensite which has poor mechanical properties. Decarburized surface responds poorly to
hardening treatment. In addition to these factors, quenching from such a high temperature will
introduce severe internal stresses into the hardened steel.

7.2 Effect of quenching media on microstructure and mechanical properties


Quenching must be severe enough to avoid any pearlite formation on cooling from the
austenitizing temperature to the temperature of the austempering bath. As in the TTT curve, which
is depicted in Fig.3, the cooling rate curve should surpass the “nose” of C shape curve. Different
quenching media means different cooling rate. Of water, oil and air as quenching media, water is
the most severe and oil the least. Sometimes agitation is added for more severe cooling rate.
Fig.3 TTT diagram of steel 45 

Fig.4 shows microstructures of three specimens undergoing the same quenching temperature
but different quenching media. With a more severe cooling rate with water as quenching media,
fine-gained martensite is obtained. When oil is used for quenching, the cooling rate becomes
slower and pearlite appears with martensite. As the cooling rate decrease with air cooling, the
cooling rate is too slow to obtain martensite, only ferrite and cementite is obtained. Variation in
hardness is also depicted in Fig.4.

Fig.4. Microstructure and hardness of steel 45 under different quenching media

7.3 Effect of tempering temperature on micro structure and mechanical properties. [7]

A number of structural changes take place during tempering treatment. These changes include
isothermal transformation of retained austenite, ejection of carbon from body centered tetragonal
lattice of martensite, growth and spheroidization of carbide particles and formation of
ferrite-carbide mixture. Depending on the range of tempering temperature, the treatment proceeds
to various stages.
The first stage of tempering is also referred to as low temperature tempering. The maximum
temperature to which steel is heated is restricted to about 250 °C at this stage. This results in the
formation of a low carbon martensite and a carbide by transformation of high carbon martensite.
The carbide precipitated from the high carbon martensite during the first stage of tempering is not
cementite. This carbide is known as ε -cabide which has a hexagonal closed packed structure.
The carbon content of ε -cabide is more than that of cementite (Fe3C) , and the chemical formula
is approximately Fe2.4C. As far as mechanical properties are concerned, marginal decrease in
hardness value takes place at this stage. Strength and toughness improves. Excellent wear
resistance and reduced internal stresses are the characteristics of hardened steel tempered in this
range. Fig.5.shows the microstructure of steel T8 being tempered at 200 °C .

Fig.5. Microstructure of steel T8 being tempered at 200 °C

The second stage of tempering consists of heating steels in the temperature range varying
from 350 to 500 °C . During this stage, retained austenite transforms to bainite. This bainite differs
from conventional bainite in the sense that it consists of ferrite and ε -cabide. Another name
given to this stage is medium temperature tempering. Ductility and toughness increase by this
treatment with a corresponding decrease in hardness and strength. The steel develops maximum
elastic properties during this stage. Fig.6 shows the microstructure of steel T8 being tempered at
400 °C .

Fig.6. Microstructure of steel T8 being tempered at 400 °C .


The third stage of tempering is also popularly known as high temperature tempering. It
consists of heating steel within a temperature range of 500 to 680 °C . Heating to such high
temperatures results in the formation of ferrite-cementite mixture. Martensite changes to ferrite by
losing its carbon. Carbon thus released combines with ε -cabide which in turn transforms to
cementite. All these changes occur with the help of diffusion and nucleation. Steel, thus treated,
has better tensile, yield and impact strength than annealed or normalized steel and is free from
internal stresses. Fig.7.shows the microstructure of steel T8 being tempered at 600 °C .

Fig.7.Microstructure of steel T8 being tempered at 600 °C

Hardness decreases as tempering temperature increases for the consumption of martensite.


Fig.8. shows this tendency.

  Fig.8. Hardness against Tempering Temperature 

7.4 Effect of alloying elements on hardenability and tempering stability

An important role of alloying elements (except cobalt) is to shift the nose of the C-curve to
the right in the TTT diagram. This increases the hardenability of steel even at slow cooling rates.
The reason for this is obvious for austenite stabilizing elements. Ferrite stabilizers do the same job
by forming carbides. Alloy carbides are more stable than cementite, and hence they retard the
diffusion of carbon which in turn decrease the rate of decomposition of austenite. Strong carbide
formers have more pronounced effect on the retardation of austenite decomposition than the weak
carbide formers. Since pearlitic transformation involves diffusion of both carbon and metallic
atoms, the effect of alloying elements is much more pronounced in pearlitic region. The effect is
less pronounced in bainitic region as bainitic transformation involves diffusion of carbon atoms
only. To be effective, the alloying elements must be dissolved in austenite. The presence of cobalt
is helpful for nucleation and growth of pearlite. Therefore, steels containing this element are
difficult to harden. [8]
Fig.9 shows the comparison of TTT diagrams of steel 45 and steel 40CrNi., Ni is an
austenite-forming element while Cr is a medium carbide former. With effect of Cr and Ni, the nose
of the C-curve is shifted to the right on the TTT diagram of steel 40CrNi in comparison to that of
Steel 45.

Fig.9.Comparison of TTT diagrams of steel 45 and steel 40CrNi

Martensite precipitation is strongly influenced by a number of alloying elements during


tempering. They retard the growth of carbide particles, and consequently supersaturation of the
α -solution with carbon is preserved. Thus the state of tempered martensite is retained up to
temperatures of 450-500 °C . A delay in martensite precipitation can be explained by two factors.
First, one of the alloying elements lowers the rate of carbon diffusion in the α -solution. Second,
the other elements can increase the strength of interatomic bonds in the α -solution lattice. This
will prevent the atoms from crossing the α -solution carbide interface. Both factors impede
precipitation of martensite [9].

8. Conclusions
1. Quenching temperature of hypoeutetoid steel is 30-50 °C above the upper critical

temperature Ac 3 when fine-grained martensite is obtained. Coarse-grained martensite will take

place of fine-grained martensite with an increase in quenching temperature.


The preferred hardening temperature for eutectoid and hypereutectoid steel is about
30-50 °C above the lower critical temperature. Higher wear resistance can be obtained with
appearance of cementite.
2. Different quenching media results in different cooling rate. Martensite is more easily
obtained with water as the quenching media.
3. Hardness decreases as tempering temperature increases for the consumption of
martensite.
4. Alloying elements can retard precipitation of martensite, which will increases the
hardenability and stability in tempering of steel

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
With all my thanks to Professor. Liu Guoquan, for his charming teaching and insightful
explanation.
During the experiment, great help is received from staffs of laboratory, and here I give my
thanks as well.
Hardness data and metallographic photos come from all my classmates. This experiment essay
cannot be completed without their help.

REFERENCES
[1] George E.Totten. Steel heat treatment: metallurgy and technologies.CRC Press, Tayor &
Francis Group.2006. 163.
[2] T.V.Rajan,C.P.Sharma,Ashok Sharma. Heat Treatment Principles and Techniques. Revised
edition. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India private Limited,1994.115.
[3] 樊东黎,徐跃明,佟晓辉.热处理技术数据手册.第二版.北京:机械工业出版社,2006.
[4] 樊东黎,徐跃明,佟晓辉.热处理技术数据手册.第二版.北京:机械工业出版社,2006.
[5] T.V.Rajan,C.P.Sharma,Ashok Sharma. Heat Treatment Principles and Techniques.Revised
edition.New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India private Limited, 1994.109.
[6] 宋维锡.金属学.第二版.北京:冶金工业出版社,2008.353
[7] T.V.Rajan,C.P.Sharma,Ashok Sharma. Heat Treatment Principles and Techniques. Revised
edition.New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India private Limited, 1 994.115
[8] T.V.Rajan,C.P.Sharma,Ashok Sharma. Heat Treatment Principles and Techniques. Revised
edition.New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India private Limited, 1994.74
[9] George E.Totten. Steel heat treatment: metallurgy and technologies. CRC Press, Tayor &
Francis Group.2006.209