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Designation: A941 13b

Standard Terminology Relating to

Steel, Stainless Steel, Related Alloys, and Ferroalloys1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation A941; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of
original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval. A
superscript epsilon () indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.

1. Scope* DISCUSSIONThe change in properties is often, but not always, due to

precipitation hardening, but never involves a change in the chemical
1.1 This standard is a compilation of definitions of terms composition of the steel .
related to steel, stainless steel, related alloys, and ferroalloys.
alloy steel, na steel, other than a stainless steel, that
1.2 When a term is used in an ASTM document for which conforms to a specification that requires one or more of the
Committee A01 is responsible, it is included herein only when following elements, by mass percent, to have a minimum
judged, after review by Subcommittee A01.92, to be a gener- content equal to or greater than: 0.30 for aluminum; 0.0008
ally usable term. for boron; 0.30 for chromium; 0.30 for cobalt; 0.40 for
1.3 Some definitions include a discussion section, which is copper; 0.40 for lead; 1.65 for manganese; 0.08 for molyb-
a mandatory part of the definition and contains additional denum; 0.30 for nickel; 0.06 for niobium (columbium); 0.60
information that is relevant to the meaning of the defined term. for silicon; 0.05 for titanium; 0.30 for tungsten (wolfram);
1.4 Definitions of terms specific to a particular standard will 0.10 for vanadium; 0.05 for zirconium; or 0.10 for any other
appear in that standard and will supersede any definitions of alloying element, except sulphur, phosphorus, carbon, and
identical terms in this standard. nitrogen.
annealing, na generic term covering any of several heat
2. Referenced Documents treatments.
2.1 ASTM Standards:2 DISCUSSIONThis treatment is used for purposes such as reducing
E112 Test Methods for Determining Average Grain Size hardness, improving machinability, facilitating cold working, produc-
ing a desired microstructure, or obtaining desired mechanical, physical,
or other properties. Where applicable, it is preferred that the following
3. Terminology more specific terms be used: box annealing, bright annealing, flame
3.1 Definitions of Terms Specific to This Standard: annealing, full annealing, graphitization annealing, intermediate
Accm, Ac1, Ac3, Ac4See transformation temperature. annealing, isothermal annealing, process annealing, recrystalliza-
tion annealing, spheroidizing, and subcritical annealing. The term
Aecm, Ae1, Ae3, Ae4See transformation temperature. annealing, without qualification, implies full annealing. Any pro-
cess of annealing will usually reduce stresses; however, if the
age hardening, nhardening by aging, usually after rapid treatment is applied for the sole purpose of stress reduction, it should be
cooling or cold working. designated stress relieving.
age hardening, nsee precipitation hardening. Arcm, Ar1, Ar3, Ar4See transformation temperature.
aging, na change in the properties of certain steels that artificial aging, naging above room temperature.
occurs at ambient or moderately elevated temperatures after
atmospheric corrosion resistance, nthe ability to resist
hot working or a heat treatment (quench aging, natural
degradation or alteration of material through chemical reac-
aging, or artificial aging) or after a cold-working operation
tion with the surrounding atmosphere.
(strain aging). DISCUSSIONThis term generally pertains to carbon steel, low alloy
steel, or micro-alloyed steel.

austempering, n heat treatment involving quenching a
This terminology is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee A01 on Steel,
Stainless Steel and Related Alloys and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee steel object from a temperature above the transformation
A01.92 on Terminology. range in a medium maintained at a temperature above the
Current edition approved June 1, 2013. Published June 2013. Originally martensite range sufficiently fast to avoid the formation of
approved in 1995. Last previous edition approved in 2013 as A941-13a. DOI:
high temperature transformation products, and then holding
For referenced ASTM standards, visit the ASTM website,, or it at that temperature until transformation is complete.
contact ASTM Customer Service at For Annual Book of ASTM
Standards volume information, refer to the standards Document Summary page on austenitizing, nforming austenite by heating a steel object
the ASTM website. above the transformation range.

*A Summary of Changes section appears at the end of this standard

Copyright ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959. United States

A941 13b
baking, nheating to a low temperature in order to remove minimum limit for sulfur is not to be less than 0.060;
gases. (e) for carbon steels that are not required to be rephosphorized or
resulfurized, the specified maximum limit is not to exceed: 0.60 for
batch furnace, na heating device within which steel objects copper, 0.050 for phosphorus, and 0.060 for sulfur; and
are held stationary or oscillated during the thermal process- (f) for carbon steels that are required to contain boron, copper, or lead,
ing cycle. the specified minimum limit is not to exceed: 0.0005 for boron, 0.35 for
copper, and 0.25 for lead.
blank carburizing, nsimulating the carburizing operation carbonitriding, ncase hardening in which a suitable steel
without introducing carbon. object is heated above Ac1 in a gaseous atmosphere of such
DISCUSSIONThis is usually accomplished by using an inert material
in place of the carburizing agent, or by applying a suitable protective
composition as to cause simultaneous absorption of carbon
coating on the object being heat treated. and nitrogen by the surface and, by diffusion, to create a
concentration gradient.
blank nitriding, nsimulating the nitriding operation without
introducing nitrogen. carburizing, na process in which an austenitized steel object
DISCUSSIONThis is usually accomplished by using an inert material is brought into contact with a carbonaceous environment of
in place of the nitriding agent, or by applying a suitable protective sufficient carbon potential to cause absorption of carbon at
coating on the object being heat treated. the surface and, by diffusion, to create a concentration
bluing, nsubjecting the scale-free surface of a steel object to
the action of air, steam, or other agents at a suitable case, nin case hardening, the outer portion that has been
temperature, thereby forming a thin blue film of oxide and made harder than the core as a result of altered composition
improving the objects appearance and corrosion resistance. or microstructure, or both, from treatments such as
DISCUSSIONThis term is ordinarily applied to sheet, strip, or carburizing, nitriding, and induction hardening.
finished parts. It is used also to denote the heating of springs after
fabrication in order to improve their properties. case hardening, na generic term covering any of several
processes applicable to steel that change the chemical
box annealing, nannealing in a sealed container under composition or microstructure, or both, of the surface layer.
conditions that minimize oxidation. DISCUSSIONThe processes commonly used are: carburizing and
DISCUSSIONThe charge is usually heated slowly to a temperature quench hardening; nitriding; and carbonitriding. It is preferred that
below the transformation range, but sometimes above or within it, the applicable specific process name be used.
and is then cooled slowly.
cast analysisDeprecated term. Use the preferred term heat
bright annealing, nannealing in a protective medium to analysis.
prevent discoloration of the bright surface. cementation, nthe introduction of one or more elements into
capped steel, na rimmed steel in which, during ingot the outer portion of a steel object by means of diffusion at
solidification, the rimming action was limited by mechanical high temperature.
or chemical means. certificate of compliance, nin manufactured products, a
carbon potential, nthe carbon content at the surface of a document that states that the product was manufactured,
specimen of pure iron in equilibrium with the carburizing sampled, tested, and inspected in accordance with the
medium considered, and under the conditions specified. requirements of the specification (including year of issue)
and any other requirements specified in the purchase order or
carbon restoration, nreplacing the carbon lost from the contract, and has been found to meet such requirements.
surface layer in previous processing by carburizing this layer DISCUSSIONA single document, containing test report information
to substantially the original carbon level. and certificate of compliance information, may be used.

carbon steel, na steel that conforms to a specification that certifying organization, nin product specifications, the
prescribes a maximum limit, by heat analysis in mass entity responsible for the conformance and certification of
percent, of not more than: 2.00 for carbon and 1.65 for the product to the specification requirements.
manganese, but does not prescribe a minimum limit for check analysisDeprecated term. Use the preferred term
chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, niobium product analysis.
(columbium), tungsten (wolfram), vanadium, or zirconium.
DISCUSSIONExcept as required above, it is permissible for carbon coarse grain practice, na steelmaking practice for other
steel specifications to prescribe limits (minimum or maximum, or both) than stainless steel that is intended to produce a killed steel
for each specified alloying element, subject to the following restrictions in which aluminum, niobium (columbium), titanium, and
for the heat analysis limits in mass percent: vanadium are residual elements.
(a) for wrought carbon steel products, the specified maximum limit is
not to exceed: 0.10 for aluminum, 0.60 for silicon, and 0.050 for cold working, nmechanical deformation of a metal at
titanium; temperatures below its recrystallization temperature.
(b) for carbon steel castings, the specified maximum limit is not to
exceed: 0.10 for aluminum, 1.00 for silicon, and 0.050 for titanium.
cold treatment, nexposing a steel object to temperatures
(c) for carbon steels that are required to be rephosphorized, the below room temperature for the purpose of obtaining desired
specified minimum limit for phosphorus is not to be less than 0.040; conditions or properties, such as dimensional or structural
(d) for carbon steels that are required to be resulfurized, the specified stability.

A941 13b
conditioning heat treatment, na preliminary heat treat- double tempering, na treatment in which a quench-
ment used to prepare a steel object for a desired reaction to hardened steel object is given two complete tempering
a subsequent heat treatment. cycles at substantially the same temperature for the purpose
of ensuring completion of the tempering reaction and pro-
continuous-conveyance furnace, na heating device through moting stability of the resultant microstructure.
which steel objects are intentionally moved at a constant rate
during the thermal processing cycle. electronic data interchange, nthe computer to computer
exchange of business information in a standardized format.
controlled cooling, ncooling a steel object from an elevated
temperature in a predetermined manner to avoid hardening, ellipsis, nin a tabular entry, three periods (...) that indicate
cracking, or internal damage, or to produce a desired that there is no requirement.
microstructure or mechanical properties.
ferritizing anneal, na heat treatment that produces a
core, nin case hardening, the interior portion of unaltered predominantly ferritic matrix in a steel object.
composition or microstructure, or both, of a case hardened
steel object. ferroalloy, nan alloy of iron and one or more other metals,
for use as an addition to the molten metal during the
core, nin clad products, the central portion of a multilayer manufacture of steels, nickel alloys, or cobalt alloys.
composite metallic material.
fine grain practice, na steelmaking practice for other than
critical cooling rate, nthe slowest rate of continuous cooling stainless steel that is intended to produce a killed steel that
at which austenite can be cooled from above the transfor- is capable of meeting the requirements specified for fine
mation range to prevent its transformation above Ms. austenitic grain size.
DISCUSSIONIt normally involves the addition of one or more
cycle annealing, nannealing employing a predetermined austenitic grain refining elements in amounts that have been established
and closely controlled time-temperature cycle to produce by the steel producer as being sufficient. Austenitic grain refining
specific properties or a specific microstructure. elements include, but are not limited to, aluminum, niobium
(columbium), titanium, and vanadium.
decarburization, nthe loss of carbon from the surface of a
steel object as a result of its being heated in a medium that flame annealing, nannealing in which the heat is applied
reacts with the carbon. directly by a flame.

defect, nan imperfection of sufficient magnitude to warrant flame hardening, na process in which only the surface layer
rejection based on the specified requirements. of a suitable steel object is heated by flame to above Ac3 or
Accm, and then the object is quenched.
differential heating, nheating that intentionally produces a
temperature gradient within a steel object such that, after fog quenching, nquenching in a mist.
cooling, a desired stress distribution or variation in proper- full annealing, nannealing a steel object by austenitizing it
ties is present within the object. and then cooling it slowly through the transformation
diffusion coating, nany process whereby a base metal is range.
either coated with another metal and heated to a sufficient DISCUSSIONThe austenitizing temperature is usually above Ac3 for
hypoeutectoid steels and between Ac1 and Accm for hypereutectoid
temperature in a suitable environment, or exposed to a
gaseous or liquid medium containing the other metal,
thereby causing diffusion of the coating or other metal into grain growth, nan increase in the grain size of a steel object,
the base metal, with a resultant change in the composition usually as a result of exposure to elevated temperatures.
and properties of its surface.
grain size, nthe dimensions of the grains or crystals in a
direct quenching, nin thermochemical processing, quench- polycrystalline metal, exclusive of twinned regions and
ing immediately following the thermochemical treatment. subgrains when present.
DISCUSSIONGrain size is usually estimated or measured on the
direct quenching, nin thermomechanical processing, cross section of an aggregate of grains, and designated by an ASTM
quenching immediately following the final hot deformation. grain size number. (See Test Methods E112.)
document, na written, printed, or electronic record that graphitization annealing, nannealing a steel object in such
provides information, evidence, or official statements. a way that some or all of the carbon is precipitated as
double aging, nemployment of two different aging
treatments, in sequence, to control the type of precipitate hardenability, nthe property that determines the depth and
formed from a supersaturated alloy matrix in order to obtain distribution of hardness induced by quenching a steel
the desired properties. object.
DISCUSSIONthe first aging treatment, sometimes referred to as
intermediate or stabilizing, is usually carried out at a higher tempera- hardening, nincreasing the hardness by suitable treatment,
ture than the second. usually involving heating and cooling.

A941 13b
DISCUSSIONWhere applicable, it is preferred that the following hot quenching, nan imprecise term used to cover a variety
more specific terms be used: age hardening, case hardening, flame of quenching procedures in which the quenching medium is
hardening, induction hardening, precipitation hardening, and maintained at a prescribed temperature above 160 F or 70
quench hardening.
heat, na generic term denoting a specific lot of steel, based hot working, nmechanical deformation of a metal at tem-
upon steelmaking and casting considerations. peratures above its recrystallization temperature.
DISCUSSIONWhere it is necessary to be more definitive, the follow-
ing more specific terms are used: primary heat, multiple heat, and imperfection, na material discontinuity or irregularity that is
remelted heat. In product specifications, the term heat generally is detectable by inspection .
used, without qualification, to mean the primary, multiple, or re-
melted heat, whichever is applicable. inclusion shape control, nthe addition of elements during
steel making in order to affect the inclusion morphology.
heat analysis, nthe chemical analysis determined by the
steel producer as being representative of a specific heat of induction hardening, nin surface hardening, a process in
steel. which only the surface layer of a suitable steel object is
DISCUSSIONWhere the analysis reported by the steel producer is not heated by electrical induction to above Ac3 or Accm, and then
sufficiently complete for conformance with the heat analysis require- the object is quenched.
ments of the applicable product specification to be fully assessed, the
manufacturer may complete the assessment of conformance with such induction hardening, nin through hardening, a process in
heat analysis requirements by using a product analysis for the specified which a suitable steel object is heated by electrical induction
elements that were not reported by the steel producer, provided that to above Ac3 or Accm throughout its section, and then the
product analysis tolerances are not applied and the heat analysis is not object is quenched.
induction heating, nheating by electrical induction.
heat number, nthe alpha, numeric, or alphanumeric desig-
nator used to identify a specific heat of steel. inspection, nthe process of measuring, examining, testing,
gaging, or otherwise comparing the unit of product with the
heat treatment, nheating and cooling a steel object in such applicable requirements.
a way as to obtain desired conditions or properties.
intermediate annealing, nannealing wrought steel objects
DISCUSSIONHeating for the sole purpose of hot working is excluded
from the meaning of this definition.
at one or more stages during manufacture prior to final
thermal treatment.
high-strength low-alloy steel, na steel, other than a carbon
interrupted aging, naging at two or more temperatures, by
steel or an interstitial-free steel, that conforms to a speci-
steps, and cooling to room temperature after each step.
fication that requires the minimum content for each specified
alloying element to be lower than the applicable limit in the interrupted quenching, nquenching in which the object
definition for alloy steel, and the yield point or yield strength being quenched is removed from the quenching medium
of the product to be at least 36 ksi or 250 MPa. while the object is at a temperature substantially higher than
that of the quenching medium.
homogeneous carburizing, na process that converts a low-
carbon steel to one of substantially uniform and higher interstitial-free steel, na steel that has essentially all of its
carbon content throughout the section, so that a specific carbon and nitrogen chemically combined with stabilization
response to hardening may be obtained. elements rather than being present interstitially.
DISCUSSIONThe heat analysis limits (minimum or maximum, or
homogenizing, nholding a steel object at high temperature to both) that are permitted to be prescribed in interstitial-free steel
eliminate or decrease chemical segregation by diffusion. specifications are as given in the definition for carbon steel, except that
the 0.050 % maximum limit for titanium does not apply.
hot-cold working, nthe mechanical deformation of auste-
nitic and precipitation hardening steels at a temperature just isothermal annealing, naustenitizing a steel object and
below the recrystallization temperature to increase the then cooling it to, and holding it at, a temperature at which
yield strength and hardness by plastic deformation or pre- austenite transforms to a ferrite-carbide aggregate.
cipitation hardening effects induced by plastic deformation, isothermal transformation, na change in phase at any
or both. constant temperature.
hot-finished, nthe condition of a product that has been killed steel, na steel deoxidized to such a level that essen-
cooled directly after the last hot-working operation, without tially no reaction occurred between carbon and oxygen
cold-working (except for straightening or flattening), and during solidification.
independent of the temperature at which hot-working was
completed. laser beam welding, na welding process that uses a laser
beam as the heat source.
DISCUSSIONThe tolerances and surface finish of hot-finished prod-
uct can be different from those of cold-finished, cold-drawn, or lot, na definite quantity of product manufactured under
cold-rolled product. conditions that are considered uniform.

A941 13b
low-alloy steel, na steel, other than a carbon steel or an normalizing, vreheating a steel object to a temperature
interstitial-free steel, that conforms to a specification that above the transformation range and then cooling it in air to
requires the minimum content for each specified alloying a temperature substantially below the transformation range
element to be lower than the applicable limit in the definition to achieve both grain refinement and improved homogeni-
for alloy steel. zation.
Mf , MsSee transformation temperature. overaging, naging under conditions of time and temperature
greater than those required to obtain maximum change in a
manufacturer, nthe organization responsible for the conver- certain property, so that the property is altered away from the
sion of materials into products meeting the requirements of maximum.
a product specification.
overheating, nheating a steel object to such a high tempera-
maraging, na precipitation hardening treatment applied to a ture that excessive grain growth occurs.
special group of alloy steels to precipitate one or more DISCUSSIONUnlike burning, it may be possible to restore the
intermetallic compounds in a matrix of essentially carbon- original properties/microstructure by further heat treatment or mechani-
free martensite. cal working, or a combination thereof.

martempering, n quenching an austenitized steel object in patenting, nin wire making, heating a medium-carbon or
a medium at a temperature in the upper part of, or slightly high-carbon steel before wire drawing, or between drafts, to
above, the martensite range, holding it in the medium until a temperature above the transformation range, and then
its temperature is substantially uniform throughout, and then cooling it in air, or a bath of molten lead or salt, to a
cooling it in air through the martensite range. temperature below Ae1.

martensite range, nthe temperature interval between Ms and plate-as-rolled, nthe quantity of plate product rolled at one
M f. time, either from an individual slab or directly from an ingot.
DISCUSSIONThis term does not refer to the surface condition or the
microalloyed steel, na low-alloy steel that conforms to a heat-treatment state of the material; a plate-as-rolled may be in the
specification that requires the presence of one or more as-rolled condition, or may have received one or more surface
carbide-, nitride-, or carbonitride-forming elements, gener- treatments or heat treatments, or both.
ally in individual concentrations less than 0.15 mass percent, post-weld heat treatment, nheating weldments immediately
to enhance strength. after welding, to provide tempering , stress relieving, or a
DISCUSSIONThe most common microalloying elements are niobium controlled rate of cooling to prevent formation of a hard or
(columbium), titanium, and vanadium.
brittle microstructure.
multiple heat, ntwo or more molten primary heats, in precipitation hardening, nhardening caused by the pre-
whole or in part, combined in a common ladle or in a cipitation of a constituent from a supersaturated solid solu-
common non-oscillating mold. tion.
DISCUSSIONA multiple heat is identified by a single heat number
representative of the multiple heat, or by the individual heat numbers precipitation heat treatment, nartificial aging in which a
of the primary heats contained in the multiple heat. The heat constituent precipitates from a supersaturated solid solution.
analysis of a multiple heat identified by a single heat number is the
weighted average analysis of the individual primary heats contained in preheating, nheating before welding, a mechanical
the multiple heat. Two or more molten primary heats sequentially treatment, or some further thermal treatment.
strand cast (poured into an oscillating mold) constitute a series of
individual heats, not a multiple heat. preheating, nfor tool steels, heating to an intermediate
temperature immediately before final austenitizing.
natural aging, nspontaneous aging of a super-saturated solid
solution at room temperature. primary heat, nthe product of a single cycle of a batch
melting process.
nickel alloy, na material that conforms to a specification that
DISCUSSIONIn the investment casting industry, the term master heat
requires by mass percent more nickel than any other ele- is used.
DISCUSSIONIn castings, the nickel content requirement is not process annealing, nin the sheet and wire industries, heating
normally stated in the specification and is not normally determined by a steel object to a temperature close to, but below, Ac1 and
chemical analysis, but is taken to be 100 % minus the sum of the mean then cooling it, in order to soften it for further cold working.
values permitted by the specification for all other elements having a
specified range or a specified maximum. product analysis, na chemical analysis of a specimen taken
from the semi-finished product or the finished product.
nitriding, nintroducing nitrogen into a solid steel object by
holding it at a suitable temperature in contact with a progressive aging, naging by increasing the temperature in
nitrogenous environment. steps, or continuously, during the aging cycle.
nonferrous material, nmetals and alloys that do not contain quench aging, n aging associated with quenching after
iron as the principal component. solution heat treatment.

A941 13b
quench hardening, nhardening a steel object by austen- shell hardening, na surface hardening process in which a
itizing it, and then cooling it rapidly enough that some or all suitable steel object, when heated through and quench
of the austenite transforms to martensite. hardened, develops a martensitic layer or shell that closely
DISCUSSIONThe austenitizing temperature is usually above Ac3 for follows the contour of the piece and surrounds a core of
hypoeutectoid steels and between Ac1 and Accm for hypereutectoid essentially pearlitic transformation product.
steels. DISCUSSIONThis result is accomplished by a proper balance be-
quenching, nrapid cooling in a fluid at a rate sufficient to tween section size, hardenability, and severity of quench.
preserve or produce desired material characteristics. slack quenching, nthe incomplete hardening of a steel
DISCUSSIONWhere applicable, it is preferred that the following object due to quenching from the austenitizing temperature
more specific terms be used: fog quenching, hot quenching, inter-
at a rate slower than the critical cooling rate for the
rupted quenching, selective quenching, spray quenching, and time
quenching. Quenching is often used in solution heat treatment of particular steel composition, resulting in the formation of
austenitic steels to retain certain constituents in solution. Quenching is one or more transformation products in addition to marten-
also used for ferritic steels to develop desired characteristics (such as site.
microstructure or toughness) in thicker sections that can otherwise only
be achieved in thinner sections. Liquids and gasses are both fluids. snap temper, na precautionary interim stress-relieving treat-
ment applied to a high-hardenability steel immediately after
recrystallization, nthe formation of a new grain structure quenching to prevent cracking because of delay in temper-
through a nucleation and growth process. ing it at the prescribed higher temperature.
DISCUSSIONThis is commonly produced by subjecting a steel
object, which may be strained, to suitable conditions of time and soaking, nprolonged holding at a selected temperature.
solution heat treatment, nheating a steel object to a suitable
recrystallization annealing, nannealing a cold-worked temperature, holding it at that temperature long enough to
steel object to produce a new grain structure without a cause one or more constituents to enter into solid solution,
change in phase. and then cooling it rapidly enough to hold such constituents
recrystallization temperature, nthe approximate minimum in solution.
temperature at which recrystallization of a cold-worked steel specified element, nin steel, an element controlled to a
object occurs within a specified time. specified minimum, maximum, or range, in accordance with
remelted heat, nthe product of the remelting of a primary the requirements of the applicable product specification.
heat, in whole or in part. spheroidizing, nheating and cooling a steel object to pro-
DISCUSSIONIn the investment casting industry, the term sub-heat is
duce a spheroidal or globular form of carbide in its micro-
residual element, nin steel, a specified or unspecified DISCUSSIONSpheroidizing methods commonly used are the follow-
element, not intentionally added, originating in the raw ing: (1) prolonged holding at a temperature just below Ae1; (2) heating
materials, refractories, or surrounding atmospheres used in and cooling alternately between temperatures that are just above, and
just below, Ae1; (3) heating to a temperature above Ae1 or Ae3 and then
steel making.
cooling very slowly in the furnace or holding at a temperature just
rimmed steel, na steel that contained sufficient oxygen to below Ae1; (4) cooling, from the minimum temperature at which all
generate carbon monoxide at the boundary between the solid carbide is dissolved, at a rate suitable to prevent the reformation of a
carbide network, and then reheating in accordance with Method (1) or
metal and the remaining molten metal during solidification, (2) above. (Applicable to hypereutectoid steels containing a carbide
resulting in an outer layer low in carbon. network.)
secondary hardening, nthe hardening phenomenon that spray quenching, nquenching in a spray of liquid.
occurs during high-temperature tempering of certain steels
containing one or more carbide-forming alloying elements. stabilized stainless steel, na stainless steel that conforms to
a specification that prescribes limits (minimum or range) for
selective heating, nintentionally heating only certain por- niobium (columbium), tantalum, titanium, or a combination
tions of a steel object. thereof.
selective quenching, nquenching only certain portions of a DISCUSSIONSuch limits are sometimes expressed as a function of
the carbon and nitrogen contents. In an appropriately annealed
steel object.
condition, a stabilized stainless steel will resist sensitization to
semicontinuous-conveyance furnace, na heating device intergranular corrosion associated with the precipitation of chromium
through which steel objects are intentionally moved in carbide at grain boundaries as a result of thermal exposure, such as
annealing, stress relieving , welding, or high temperature service.
accordance with a predetermined start-stop-start pattern Resistance to sensitization to intergranular corrosion is dependent upon
during the thermal processing cycle. the corrosivity of the environment. The condition of being stabilized
with respect to sensitization is frequently demonstrated by passing one
semikilled steel, nan incompletely deoxidized steel that
or more standard corrosion tests for sensitization.
contained sufficient oxygen to form enough entrapped car-
bon monoxide during solidification to offset solidification stabilizing treatment, nany treatment intended to stabilize
shrinkage. the microstructure or dimensions of a steel object.

A941 13b
stainless steel, na steel that conforms to a specification that particular combination of controls on the manufacturing
requires, by mass percent, a minimum chromium content of process, from slab reheating to post-rolling cooling, thereby
10.5 or more, and a maximum carbon content of less than achieving enhanced mechanical properties.
1.20. DISCUSSION(TMCP) requires appropriate selection of chemical
composition and accurate control of steel temperature and rolling
steel, na material that conforms to a specification that reduction.
requires, by mass percent, more iron than any other element
and a maximum carbon content of generally less than 2. thermochemical treatment, na heat treatment carried out
DISCUSSIONThe iron content requirement is not normally stated in in a medium suitably chosen to produce a change in the
the specification and is not normally determined by chemical analysis, chemical composition of the steel object by exchange with
but is taken to be 100 % minus the sum of the mean values permitted the medium.
by the specification for all other elements having a specified range or a
specified maximum. For conformance purposes, this calculated value time quenching, ninterrupted quenching in which the
for iron is compared on an individual basis to the mean values duration of holding in the quenching medium is controlled.
permitted by the specification for each of the other elements having a
specified range or a specified maximum. Some chromium-containing transformation ranges, nthose ranges of temperature within
steels may contain more than 2 % carbon; however, 2 % carbon is which austenite forms during heating and transforms during
generally considered to be the demarcation between steel and cast iron. cooling.
DISCUSSIONThe two ranges are distinct, sometimes overlapping but
strain aging, n aging induced by cold working. never coinciding. The limiting temperatures of the ranges are depen-
strain hardening, nan increase in hardness and strength of a dent upon the steel composition and the rate of change of temperature,
particularly during cooling.
metal caused by plastic deformation at temperatures below
its recrystallization temperature . (Syn. work hardening) transformation temperature, nthe temperature at which a
change in phase occurs, with the limiting temperatures of the
stress relieving, nheating a steel object to a suitable
transformation ranges designated using the following sym-
temperature, holding it long enough to reduce residual
stresses, and then cooling it slowly enough to minimize the
Accmthe temperature at which the solution of cementite
development of new residual stresses.
in austenite is completed during heating.
subcritical annealing, nannealing at a temperature slightly Ac1the temperature at which austenite begins to form
below Ac1. during heating.
Ac3the temperature at which transformation of ferrite to
surface hardening, na generic term covering any of several
austenite is completed during heating.
processes that, by quench hardening only, produce in a
Ac4the temperature at which austenite transforms to
steel object a surface layer that is harder or more wear
delta ferrite during heating.
resistant than the core.
DISCUSSIONThere is no significant alteration of the chemical Ae1, Ae3, Aecm, Ae4the temperatures of phase change at
composition of the surface layer. Where applicable, it is preferred that equilibrium.
the following more specific terms be used: induction hardening, flame Arcmthe temperature at which precipitation of cementite
hardening, and shell hardening. starts during cooling.
temper brittleness, nbrittleness that results when certain Ar1the temperature at which transformation of austenite
steels are held within, or are cooled slowly through, a certain to ferrite or to ferrite plus cementite is completed during
range of temperature below the transformation range. cooling.
Ar3the temperature at which austenite begins to trans-
tempering, nreheating a quench hardened or normalized form to ferrite during cooling.
steel object to a temperature below Ac1, and then cooling it Ar4the temperature at which delta ferrite transforms to
at any desired rate. austenite during cooling.
Mfthe temperature at which transformation of austenite
test record, na document or electronic record that contains
to martensite is substantially completed during cooling.
the observations and derived data obtained by applying a
Msthe temperature at which transformation of austenite
given test method.
to martensite starts during cooling.
test report, na document that presents the applicable quali- DISCUSSIONAll of the above changes, except the formation of
tative or quantitative results obtained by applying one or martensite, occur at lower temperatures during cooling than during
more given test methods. heating, and are dependent upon the rate of change of temperature.
DISCUSSIONA single document, containing test report information unspecified element, nin steel, an element not controlled to
and certificate of compliance information, may be used.
a specified minimum, maximum, or range, in accordance
Thermal-Mechanical Control Process (TMCP), na rolling with the requirements of the applicable product specifica-
process that produces a fine-grained ferritic steel by a tion.

A941 13b

Committee A01 has identified the location of selected changes to this terminology since the last issue,
A94113a, that may impact the use of this terminology. (Approved June 1, 2013)

(1) Revised the term quenching.

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