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Rasdi bin Deraman

Fakulti Kejuruteraan Mekanikal
UiTM Pulau Pinang

Heat Treatment is the controlled heating and

cooling of metals to improve their physical
and mechanical properties without
changing the product shape.

Heat Treatment is often associated with

increasing the strength of material, but it
can also be used to alter certain
manufacturability objectives such as
improve machining, improve formability,
restore ductility after a cold working
3.1 INTRODUCTION (Cont…..)

Thus it is a very enabling manufacturing

process that can not only help other
manufacturing process, but can also
improve product performance by
increasing strength or other desirable
Phase Transformations in
• Heat TreatmentMetalsMicrostructure
(time and temp.) Mech.
Most phase transformations involve change in
composition redistribution of atoms via diffusion is
required. The process of phase transformation involves:
• Nucleation of the new
phase - formation of stable
nuclei of the new phase.
Nuclei are often formed at
grain boundaries and other
Growth of new phase at
the expense of the original
Heat treatment of plain carbon steels.

• Heating and cooling properties of steels vary

mechanical properties.
• Martensite: Metastable phase consisting of
super saturated solid solution of C in
BC Tetragonal iron.
• Caused by rapid cooling of austenitic steel
into room temperature (quenching).
Ms temperature of martensite start.
Mf temperature of martensite finish.
Microstructure of Fe – C in Martensites
• Lath martensite: Less than 0.6% C and consists of
domains of lathe of different orientation.
• Plate martensite: More than 0.6% C and have fine
structure of parallel twins.

Lath type

Plate type
Martensite (Cont..)
• Transfer to martensite is diffusionless.
• No change of relative position of carbon atoms after

• Strength and hardness increases

with carbon content.
• Strength is due to high dislocation
concentration and interstitial solid
solution strengthening.
TTT Diagrams
 The family of S-shaped curves at different temp. are
used to construct the TTT diagrams.

 The TTT diagrams are for the isothermal (constant

T) transformations (material is cooled quickly to a
given temp. before the transformation occurs, and
then keep it at that temp.). At low temp., the
transformation occurs sooner (it is controlled by the
rate of nucleation) and grain growth (that is
controlled by diffusion) is reduced.
Phase Transformations in TTT
Diagram including Martensite
TTT Diagrams (cont…)

 Slow diffusion at low temperatures leads to

fine-grained microstructure with thin-layered
structure of pearlite (fine pearlite).
 At higher temperatures, high diffusion rates
allow for larger grain growth and formation of
thick layered structure of pearlite (coarse

 At compositions other than eutectoid, a

proeutectoid phase (ferrite or cementite)
coexist with pearlite.
 Additional curves for proeutectoid
transformation must be included on TTT
TTT Diagrams (cont…)
Critical Cooling Rate is defined as the
lowest cooling rate which produces
100% Martensite while minimizing
the internal stresses and distortions.
TTT Diagram and
microstructures obtained by
different types of cooling rates
Phase Transformations in Metals
Isothermal Transformation ( TTT)

The thickness
of the ferrite
layers in
is ~ 8:1.
The absolute layer thickness depends on the
temperature of the transformation. The higher
the temperature, the thicker the layers.
Phase Transformations in Metals
Time –temp. path – microstructure
• Given in TTT
diagram, describe
what transformations
happen in:
a. Path 1 (Red line)
b. Path 2 (Green line)
c. Path 3 (Blue line)
d. Path 4 (Orange line)

Ans: a) 50% martensite+ 50% austenite. b) 100% martensitic

c) 50% martensite + 50% bainite d) fine pearlite
Cold Work
A material is considered to be cold worked if its grains
are in a distorted condition after plastic
deformation is completed. All the properties of a
metal that are dependent on the lattice structure are
affected by plastic deformation or cold working.
The following properties are affected by cold work
• Tensile Strength
• Hardness
• Ductility
• Yield Strength
Figure shows the
effect of cold
working on tensile
strength, hardness,
ductility and grain
size. (The curve
below ductility
represents the
change in grain size)
• Four basic types of heat treatment are used today.
They are annealing, normalizing, hardening, and

A number of process heat-treating operations

are classified under the general term of
annealing. These may be employed to
• reduce hardness
• remove residual stresses
• improve toughness
• restore ductility
• refine grain size
Full annealing is the process by
which the distorted cold worked
lattice structure is changed back to
one which is strain free through the
application of heat. This process is
carried out entirely in the solid state
and is usually followed by slow
cooling in the furnace from the
desired temperature.
• The annealing process may be
divided into three stages:
1. Recovery
2. Recrystallization
3. Grain growth
• The principal effect of recovery is the relief of
internal stresses due to cold working.
• When the load which causes plastic
deformation is released, all the elastic
deformation does not disappear. This is due to
the different orientation of crystals, which will
not allow some of them to move back when the
load is released.
• Commercially, this low temp. treatment in the
recovery range is known as stress relief
annealing or process annealing.
• Recrystallization takes place by a combination of
nucleation of strain free grains and the growth of these
nuclei to absorb the entire cold worked material.

• The term recrystallization temperature refers to the

approximate temperature at which a highly cold
worked material completely recrystallizes in one hour.

Pure metals have low recrystallization temperatures as

compared with alloys. Zinc, tin and lead have
recrystallization temperatures below room temperature.
This means that these metals cannot be cold worked at
room temperature since they crystallize spontaneously,
reforming a strain free structure.
The recrystallization temperatures of several
metals and alloys are listed in table below.

Material Recrystallization
Temperature (oF)
Copper ( 99.99 %) 250
Copper ( 5 % Zinc) 600
Aluminum (99.99 %) 175
Aluminum alloys 600
Low carbon steel 1000
Zinc 50
Tin 25
Lead 25
Grain Growth
• In this stage the tensile strength and
hardness continue to decrease but at
a much less rate than the
recrystallization stage. The major
change observed during this stage is
the growth of the grain boundaries
and reaching the original grain size
as shown in figure below.
Effect of
annealing on
ductility and
grain size.
• Normalizing is a type of heat treatment applicable
to ferrous metals only. It differs from annealing in
that the metal is heated to a higher temperature
(austenite region) and then removed from the
furnace for air cooling.
• Makes grain structure uniform, Increases
• The purpose of normalizing is to remove the
internal stresses induced by heat treating,
welding, casting, forging, forming, or machining.
• Normalized steels are harder and stronger than
annealed steels. In the normalized condition, steel
is much tougher than in any other
structural condition.
• The hardening treatment for most
steels consists of heating the steel to a
set temperature and then cooling it
rapidly by plunging it into oil, water, or
brine. Most steels require rapid cooling
(quenching) for hardening but a few
can be air-cooled with the same results.
• Hardening increases the hardness and
strength of the steel, but makes it less
ductile. Generally, the harder the steel,
the more brittle it becomes. To remove
some of the brittleness, it should
temper the steel after hardening.
• Tempering is essential after most
hardening operations to restore some
toughness to the structure.

• Hardened steel can be tempered by re-

heating it to a certain temperature below
eutectoid temperature, and then cooling
slowly. It is frequently performed as an
integral part of the cycle in a seal
quench furnace, with the parts fully
protected against oxidation and
decarburisation throughout the process.
Tempering (cont…)
•Generally tempering is conducted in the temp. range
150 to 700°C, depending on the type of steel and is time
dependent as the microstructural changes occur
relatively slowly.
Cross-section of gear
teeth showing
Isothermal decomposition of Austenite (Cont..)
• Upper Bainite Between 5500C and
• Lower Bainite Between 3500C and 2500C


Spheroidite Upper Bainite Lower Bainite

Effects of Tempering
• Hardness decreases as temperature increases above 200 C

• This is due
to diffusion
of carbon
atoms from
sites to iron
• Hardenability is used to describe the
ability of an alloy to be hardened by
formation of martensite induced by
quenching process.

The hardenability of steel depends

primarily on:
# The composition of the steel.
# The austenitic grain size.
# The structure of the steel
before quenching.
Hardenability (cont…)
• Hardenability can be measured by
using Jominy end quench test:

* Cylindrical bar (1” dia. And

4” length with 1/16”flange
at one end is austenitized
and one end is quenched.
* Rockwell C hardness is
measured up to 2.5” from
quenched end.


flat ground
(heated toγ 4”
phase field)
24°C water
Hardenability (cont..)
Figure (a) End-
quench test and
cooling rate. (b)
Hardenability curves
for five different
steels, as obtained
from the end-
quench test.

Small variations in
composition can
change the shape of
these curves. Each
curve is actually a
band, and its exact
determination is
important in the
heat treatment of
metals, for better
control of
Hardenability (cont…)
Why hardness changes with position?
• The cooling rate Hardness versus
varies with position. distance from
100 10 3 2 Cooling rate (°C/s)
quenched end.
Hardness, HRC

60 100

Hardness, HRC
4340 80 %M
40 4140


0 10 20 30 40 50
Distance from quenched end (mm)
Hardenability curves shown: Distance from quenched end.
The 4340 (1.85 Ni, 0.8 Cr & 0.25 Mo) alloy steel has
exceptionally high hardenability and can be quenched to a
hardness of RC=50 at 2” from the quenched end of a
Jominy Test bar; 4140 (1% Cr & 0.2% Mo); 8640 (0.55% Ni,
0.5%Cr & 0.2% Mo); 5140 (0.85% Cr); 1040 (unalloyed
• Effect of quenching medium:
Medium Severity of Quench Hardness
air small small
oil moderate moderate
water large large
• Effect of geometry:
When surface-to-volume ratio
--cooling rate increases
--hardness increases
Position Cooling rate Hardness
center small small
surface large large
g Extrusio
End of the Chapter 3
Based on the given data below,
1. Name the heat treatment process for each sample.
2. Differentiate the microstructure and properties of each
steel after the heat treatment process.

0.8 wt % Heating Soaking Cooling medium

Carbon Temp. Time
steel (oC) (min)
A 860 50 Oil

B 860 50 Furnace

C 860 50 Soaking in water

and reheat