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Preventing Scale Loss During Heat Treatment & Hot Forging - with images

Preventing Scale Loss During Heat Treatment & Hot Forging - with images

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Published by Srikar Shenoy
This is an original contribution of the author in the field of Heat Treatment and hot Forging. This article provides a method to reduce or eliminate scale losses during heat treatment and hot forging. Scaling, scale pit marks and decarburisation are major causes of wastage of forged components. This article gives a proven cost-effective method to eliminate these losses. Industry catered to: Heat treatment of steel, hot forging of steel and non-ferrous metals, hot rolling.
This is an original contribution of the author in the field of Heat Treatment and hot Forging. This article provides a method to reduce or eliminate scale losses during heat treatment and hot forging. Scaling, scale pit marks and decarburisation are major causes of wastage of forged components. This article gives a proven cost-effective method to eliminate these losses. Industry catered to: Heat treatment of steel, hot forging of steel and non-ferrous metals, hot rolling.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Srikar Shenoy on Jul 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/03/2013

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COST REDUCTION BY USING PROTECTIVE COATINGS IN HEAT TREATMENT 
by
S. P. Shenoy
 
M.Tech. (Met. Engg.), C.E.O.,Steel Plant Specialities, India.www.steelplantspecialities.com
 
INTRODUCTION
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.
 
OXIDATION
Oxidation of steel is caused by oxygen, carbon dioxide and/or water-vapour. The generalreactions are given below :O
2
 O
2
 CO
2
 CO
2
 ++++2 Fe4 FeOFe3 FeO
 
 
 
 
2 FeO2 Fe
2
O
3
 CO + FeOFe
3
O
4
+ COOxidation of steel may range from a tight, adherent straw-coloured film that forms at atemperature of about 180
°
C to a loose, blue-black oxide scale that forms at temperature aboveabout 450
°
C with resultant loss of metal.
DECARBURIZATION
Decarburization or depletion of surface carbon content takes place when steel is heated totemperatures above 650
°
C. It progresses as a function of time, temperature and furnaceatmosphere.Typical reactions involved are :O
2
+ C
 
CO
2
 O
2
+ Fe
3
C
 
3 Fe + CO
2
 CO
2
+ C
 
2 COCO
2
+ Fe
3
C
 
2 CO + 3 FeH
2
O + Fe
3
C
 
CO + H
2
+ 3 Fe
 
The equilibrium relationship depends on the ratio of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide. It isneutral to a given carbon content at a given temperature.
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF OXIDATION AND DECARBURIZATION
Oxidation leads to loss of dimensions and material as extra material allowance needs to bekept for scaling. Often, surface quality is deteriorated due to pitting. Metallurgicaltransformation during austenitising and subsequent quenching may be non-uniform. Surfacehardness and strength are also lowered due to layer of scaling. Fatigue strength of heattreated product is reduced. This is especially true in case of automobile leaf springs.
PREVENTING OXIDATION AND DECARBURIZATION
Prevention of oxidation and decarburization is not only better than cure, it is profitable too.There are several ways to address problems caused by the two harmful reactions. Decarburizedsurface removal by machining operations after heat treatment, copper plating of thickness upto0.025 mm prior to heat treatment or change of heating media to molten salt bath are some ideas.A number of protective atmospheres may be introduced like liquid hydrocarbon, dissociatedammonia, exothermic gas, nitrogen and endothermic gas. Fluidized bed furnaces and vacuumfurnaces have also proven to reduce scaling. Switching over to grades which do not require heattreatment is possible in rare cases. However, most of the mentioned solutions pose a number of problems or practical difficulties. Availability of capital and human resource for using high-endfurnaces is a major issue. Many small heat treatment shops cannot afford these solutions. Yetthey are under mounting pressure to prevent oxidation and decarburization.
Use of protectiveanti-scale coating has proven to be a logical solution to the problem of scaling anddecarburization
.

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