|Summary / Abstract
||THE hardenability of most steels can be predicted within 10 to 15 per cent provided the complete chemical composition is known, including "incidental" elements; and provided the as-quenched grain size is known; and provided, finally, that the composition and heating temperatures for hardening are such as to result in austenite free from carbide particles. In method proposed herein, the steel is considered as having a base hardenability due to its carbon content alone (the hardenability of a ''pure steel" of the given carbon content, without any other elements), and this base hardenability is multiplied by a multiplying factor for each chemical element present. After multiplying all these together, the final product is the hardenability. Grain sue may be taken into account either in the base hardenability or after the multiplication. Hardenability is stated in terms of "ideal critical diameter"; namely, the diameter of bar, in inches, that will just harden all the way through (absence of un- hardened core) in an "ideal" quench, and the calculation may also be related to the Jominy test.
The data bring out certain features rather clearly. For example:
I. It is quite useless to attempt to predict hardenability unless all elements, including "incidentals," are known; thus an "incidental" chromium content of 0.20 per cent increases the hardenability by about 50 per cent.
2. The relative effectiveness of different alloys is sometimes unexpected; thus molybde- num when calculated in this way appears to be of the same order of effectiveness as manganese, rather than much more powerful as wouldappear to be common experience; observe that an increase from no manganese to 0.20 per cent Mn provides a multiplying factor of 1.67, and an increase from no molybdenum to 0.20 per cent Mo provides a factor of 1.63, an increase of over 60 per cent in each case. However, if to a steel containing 0.50 per cent Mn there is added " 20 points of manganese," the factor is raised from 2.65 (for 0.50 per cent Mn) to 3.35 (for 0.70 per cent Mn), or an increase of only 26 per cent. Thus the first small addition of an element has a much more powerful percentage effect than an equal further addition when some is already present, and in most cases the effect of molybdenum is considered in relation to a steel in which molybdenum is absent.
3. If two elements are equally effective, a greater hardenability will be obtained by using, for example, 0.5 per cent of each than by using 1.0 per cent of either of them alone. 4. A knowledge of the as-quenched grain size is essential for precise work, since a difference of only one grain size number (say No. 7 instead of No. 6) makes a difference of almost lo per cent in hardenability (in these units); this, however, does not apply to certain steels of high hardenability.
It should be emphasized that in chromium steels (over 0.30 per cent Cr) and chrome- molybdenum and chrome-vanadium steels, undissolved carbides are likely to be present in the steel as quenched, and that in such cases the charts can indicate only a maximum possible hardenability, whereas the extent of hardening actually obtained may be much less. Thus tests on a number of chrome-molybdenum steels have indicated a degree of hardening amounting to only 50 to 65 per cent of the maximum possible, and in chromium steels from full hardening (100 per cent) down to as low as 70 per cent. On the other hand, when the amount of such elements is small (Cr under 0.30 per cent, Mo up to 0.25 per cent in the absence of Cr, and V up to 0.04 per cent), the charts provide reasonable approximations. The precise figures on the charts are suggested as tentative, subject to some modification as more data accumulate, but the fundamental concept appears to be supported by tests made on a wide variety of steels, a few of the correlations being shown in Fig. I.