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Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Part I: Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys


Heat Treatment
Precipitation Hardening
Part II: Metal Alloys and Fabrication of Metals

Outline
Outline
Heat Treatment of Steels
Hardenability
Influence of quenching medium, specimen
size, and geometry
Annealing Processes
o Annealing of ferrous alloys
o Full annealing
o Normalizing
o Process annealing
o Stress relief
Precipitation Hardening
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
1 10 100
A
The complete
isothermal
transformation
diagram for an
iron-carbon alloy of
eutectoid
composition.

A: austenite
B: bainite
M: martensite
P: pearlite
Conventional heat treatment procedures for
producing martensitic steels involves
continuous and rapid cooling of an austenitized
specimen in some type of quenching medium,
such as water, oil, or air
The optimum properties of a steel that has been
quenched and then tempered can be realized only if,
during the quenching heat treatment, the
specimen has been converted to a high content
of martensite
Heat Treatment of Steels
The cooling rate varies with position
Adapted from Fig. 11.12, Callister 6e.
Why hardness changes with position?
Medium
air
oil
water
Severity of Quench
small
moderate
large
Hardness
small
moderate
large
Effect of Quenching Medium
The severity of quench: water > oil > air

Radial hardness profiles for (a) 50 mm (2 in.) diameter cylindrical 1040 and 4140
steel specimens quenched in mildly agitated water, and (b) 50 and 100 mm (2
and 4 in.) diameter cylindrical specimens of 4140 steel quenched in mildly
agitated water.
Effect of Part Size
When surface-to-volume ratio increases
cooling rate increases
hardness increases
Position
center
surface
Cooling rate
small
large
Hardness
small
large
Effect of Part Geometry
Annealing: a heat treatment in which a material is
exposed to an elevated temperature for an extended
time period and then slowly cooled.
Three stages of annealing
1. Heating to the desired temperature
2. Holding or soaking at that temperature
3. Cooling, usually to room temperature
Annealing Processes
1. Relieve Internal Stresses
Internal stresses can build up in metal as a
result of processing.
Stresses may be caused by previous
processing operations such as welding, cold
working, casting, forging, or machining.
If internal stresses are allowed to remain in a
metal, the part may eventually distort or crack.
Annealing helps relieve internal stresses and
reduce the chances for distortion and cracking.
Purposes for Annealing
2. Increasing Softness, Machinability, and Formability
A softer and more ductile material is easier to
machine in the machine shop.
An annealed part will respond better to forming
operations.
3. Refinement of Grain Structures
After some types of metalworking (particularly
cold working), the crystal structures are
elongated.
Annealing can change the shape of the grains
back to the desired form.
Purposes for Annealing (Contd)
The IronIron Carbide Phase Diagram
L + Fe
3
C
2.14 4.30
6.70
0.022
0.76
M
N
C
P
E
O
G
F
H
Cementite Fe
3
C
Most heat treating operations begin with heating the alloy
into the austenitic phase field to dissolve the carbide in
the iron
Steel heat treating practice rarely involves the use of
temperatures above 1040C
Temperature Regime of Steel Heat Treatment
FIG. 11.9 The iron-iron
carbide phase diagram
in the vicinity of the
eutectoid, indicating
heat treating
temperature ranges for
the plain carbon steels.
Full annealing is the most basic of the annealing
processes and is often simply referred to as
annealing.
Utilized for low- and medium-carbon steels that will
be machined or will experience extensive plastic
deformation during a forming operation
Full Annealing
The alloy austenitized by
heating to 15 to 40C
above the A
3
or A
1
lines
until equilibrium is
achieved (i.e., the alloy
changes to austenite),
and then furnace cooled
The soaking time: to
soak the material for 1h
at the annealing
temperature for every
inch of thickness (a rule
of thumb)
A cooling rate of 100F/hr
is typical for full
annealing.
Full Annealing
FIG. 11.9 The iron-iron carbide phase diagram
in the vicinity of the eutectoid, indicating heat
treating temperature ranges for the plain
carbon steels.
Microstructure product: coarse pearlite in addition to
any proeutectoid phase soft and ductile
Microstructure after Full Annealing
FIG. 11.9 The iron-iron carbide phase diagram in the vicinity of the eutectoid,
indicating heat treating temperature ranges for the plain carbon steels.
A heat treatment used to negate the effects of cold
work, i.e., to soften and increase the ductility of a
previously strain-hardened metal
In process annealing, parts are not as completely
softened as they are in full annealing, but the time
required is considerably lessened.
Process Annealing
(or Intermediate Annealing)
Process annealing is frequently used as an
intermediate heat-treating step during the manufacture
of a part.
A part that is stretched considerably during
manufacture may be sent to the annealing oven three
or four times before all of the stretching is completed.
Process Annealing (or Intermediate Annealing)
Forging
Rolling
Recovery and recrystallization processes are allowed
to occur
1. Recovery
Some of the stored internal strain energy is relieved by
virtue of dislocation motion, as a result of enhanced
atomic diffusion at the elevated temperature.
2. Recrystallization
Recrystallization is the formation of a new set of strain free
and equiaxed grains that have low dislocation densities
and are characteristic of the precold-worked condition.
Ordinarily a fine-grained microstructure is desired;
the heat treatment is terminated before appreciable
grain growth has occurred.
Process Annealing (Contd)
FIG. 7.11 Alteration of the grain structure of a polycrystalline metal as a result of
plastic deformation. (a) Before deformation the grains are equiaxed. (b) The
deformation has produced elongated grains.
Alteration of Grain Structure
as a Result of Plastic Deformation
New crystals are formed that:
have a small dislocation density
are small
consume cold-worked crystals
33% cold
worked
brass
New crystals
nucleate after
3 sec. at 580C.
0.6 mm 0.6 mm
Recrystallization
All cold-worked crystals are consumed.
After 4
seconds
After 8
seconds
0.6 mm 0.6 mm
Further Recrystallization
The name normalizing
comes from the original
intended purpose of the
process to return steel
to the normal condition
it was in before it was
altered by cold working
or other processing.
Heating the alloy to 55 to
85C above the A
3
or A
cm

and holding for sufficient
time so that the alloy
completely transforms to
austenite, followed by air
cooling
Normalizing
The iron-iron carbide phase diagram in the
vicinity of the eutectoid, indicating heat treating
temperature ranges for the plain carbon steels.
To refine the grains and produce a more uniform and
desirable size distribution for steels that have been
plastically deformed
Normalizing does not soften the material as much as
full annealing does.
The cooling process does not leave the material as
ductile or as internally stress-free.
A normalized part will usually be a little stronger,
harder, and more brittle than a full-annealed part.
Normalizing (Contd)
Internal residual stresses may develop in metal
pieces:
Plastic deformation processes (machining and
grinding)
Non-uniform cooling of a piece that was
processed or fabricated at an elevated
temperature (welding or casting)
A phase transformation that is induced upon
cooling wherein parent and product phases have
different densities
Distortion and warpage may result if these
residual stresses are not removed.
Stress Relief Annealing
The work piece is heated to the recommended
temperature, held long enough to attain a uniform
temperature, and finally cooled to room temperature
slowly
The annealing temperature is ordinarily a relatively
low one such that effects resulting from cold work
and other heat treatments are not affected
Stress Relief Annealing (Contd)
This electrical heat-treating furnace is used to heat treat strip steels


Furnaces Widely Used in Heat Treatment of Steels
The interior of this roller hearth-treating furnace has cast heating elements
on the top, bottom, and side walls.

Furnaces Widely Used in Heat Treatment of Steels
Furnace Fixtures
Examples of furnace baskets.
Fabricated by welding wrought
components of a 35%Ni-18%Cr alloy
Temperature Control Systems
Process temperature should be controlled to within
~ 2.5C.
Although this close range is sometimes possible, a
more practical control range is nearer 5C.
Temperature Sensors
Temperature Measurement
Temperature Control
Three Major Components
in A Temperature Control System
Temperature Sensors
Thermocouples are the most widely used sensors for
measuring temperatures of heat treating furnaces.
Type K is, by far, the most widely used.
Three Major Components
in A Temperature Control System
Temperature Control
A temperature controller must provide sufficient energy to
satisfy process requirements, even though operating
conditions vary.
The controller set point (that represents the desired
temperature) is compared with the actual temperature.
Based on this comparison, the controller regulates the
energy flow to the process.
Temperature Measurement
Measurement instruments
measure the output signal of the
temperature sensor & convert it to
a temperature indication.
Comparison of Annealing, Normalizing, & Quenching
Annealing & Normalizing Quenching
Slow cooling process Rapid cooling process
Softens and weakens metal Hardens and strengthens metal
Produces ductility Produces brittleness
Reduces internal stresses Causes internal stresses
Helps prevent cracking and
distortion
Increases chances of cracking
and distortion

Effects of Annealing, Normalizing, and Quenching
Annealing Normalizing
Air
Quenching
Oil
Quenching
Water
Quenching
Softer, less strong Harder and stronger
More ductile More brittle
Less internal stress More internal stress
Less distortion, cracking More distortion, cracking