COST REDUCTION BY USING PROTECTIVE COATINGS IN HEAT TREATMENT
S. P. Shenoy
M.Tech. (Met. Engg.), C.E.O.,Steel Plant Specialities, India.www.steelplantspecialities.com
Heat treatment is an important operation in the manufacturing process of engineeringcomponents, machine parts and tools. Oxidation and decarburization of steel take place whensteel is heated in an electric furnace or oil fired furnace, in the presence of air or products of combustion. Oxidation leads to numerous problems like scale pit marks, loss of dimensions, badquality surface finish of metal, rejections, quench cracking and increased expensive operationslike shot blasting, machining and acid pickling. Protection against scaling and decarburization isachieved by heating in molten salts, fluidized bed furnaces, protective gaseous media orvacuum. These measures demand heavy capital investment, highly skilled personnel and specialsafety precautions. Many companies cannot afford them, and yet they are under mountingpressure to prevent oxidation and decarburization.This article introduces a practical technique pioneered by an experienced Metallurgist from theIndian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.). The technique enables any kind of steel to be heatedwithout basic problems of oxidation and decarburization. Discussed technique, established in anumber of hot forging units, heat treatment shops and hot rolling mills, can be adopted by bothsmall and large scale units.
UNDERSTANDING OXIDATION AND DECARBURIZATION
When steel is heated in an open furnace in the presence of air or products of combustion, twosurface phenomena take place: 1. Oxidation 2. Decarburization.