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D EUTSCHE NORM

NORM March2000

Heat treatment of ferrous materials {


Part 5: Surface hardening
17022-5

ICS 25.200

Wärmebehandlung von Eisenwerkstoffen – Verfahren der Wärmebehandlung – Teil 5: Randschichthärten

In keeping with current practice in standards published by the International Organization for Standardization
(ISO), a comma has been used throughout as the decimal marker.

Contents
Page

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1 Sc op e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2 No
Norm
rmatativ
ivee refe
refere renc
nces es . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
3 Co n c e p t s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
4 Pr
Prin
inci
cipl
plee of
of met
metho hod d ............................... .................................. 2
5 Ide
Identi
ntific
ficati
ation
on ofof heat
heat treatme
treatment nt condi
conditio tion n . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . 2
6 P ro c e d u re . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
6.1 Pretreatment and preparation
preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
6.2 Austenitizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
6.3 Quenching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
6.4 Subzero treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
6.5 Tempering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
7 Se
Seco
cond
ndararyy tre
treat
atmement nt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
8 He
Heat
at tr
trea
eatm
tmenentt med
media ia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
8.1 Cooling and quenching media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
8.2 Subzero treatment media media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
9 Ef
Effe
fects
cts of sur
surfaface
ce harharde deni ng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ning 8
9.1 Effects on case structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
9.2 Effec
Effectsts on hardness
hardness and effect effective ive case
case depth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
9.3 Effects on shape and dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
10 De
Defefects
cts in
in heat
heat treat
treated ed prod
produc uctsts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
11 De
Desisign
gniningg for
for heat
heat treatreatmetment nt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1 2 St ra
ra ig
ig ht enin g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ht en 13
13 Tes
Testin
tingg surf
surface
ace har hardendened ed proproducducts ts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Foreword
This standard has been prepared by Technical Committee Wärmebehandlungstechnik  of the Normen-
 aus schu ss Werks
 ausschu W erkstof
tofftec
ftec hnol ogi
ogiee (Materials Technology Standards Committee).

1 Sco pe
This standard describes the surface hardening of products made of rolled steel, cast iron, or steel powder
compacts.

Continued on pages 2 to 13.

Translation by DIN-Sprachendien
DIN-Sprachendienst.
st.
In case of doubt, the German-language original should be consulted as the authoritative text.

© No part of this translation


translation may be reproduced without
without the prior permission
permission of Ref.
Ref. No
No.. DI
DIN
N 17
1702
022-
2-5
5 : 20
2000
00-0
-03
3
DIN Deutsches Institut
Institut für Normung e. V., Berlin. Beuth Verlag GmbH,
GmbH , 10772 Berlin, Germany,
Germany, Engl
Englis
ish
h pri
price
ce gr
grou
oup
p 11 Sale
Sales
sNNo.011
o.01111
has the exclusive right of sale for German Standards (DIN-Normen) .
03.01
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DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

2 Normative references
This standard incorporates, by dated or undated reference, provisions from other publications. These normative
references are cited at the appropriate places in the text, and the titles of the publications are listed below. For
dated references, subsequent amendments to or revisions of any of these publications apply to this standard
only when incorporated in it by amendment or revision. For undated references, the latest edition of the
publication referred to applies.
D IN 6 77 3 H ea t t rea tme nt o f f er ro us ma te ri al s – H ea t t rea te d p art s, r ep res en ta tio n a nd i nd ica tio ns o n
drawings *)
DIN 17014-3 Heat treatment of ferrous materials – Symbols for heat treatment processes
D IN 17 02 2- 1 H ea t t rea tm en t o f f er ro us p ro duc ts – H ar de ni ng an d t em pe ri ng
DIN 17022-2 Heat treatment of ferrous materials – Heat treatment methods – Hardening and tempering
of tools
DIN 17023 Heat treatment of f errous metals – F orms – Orders for heat treatment (WBA)
DIN 50103-3 Rockwell hardness testing of metallic materials – Modified Rockwell scales Bm and Fm
(for thin sheet steel)
DIN 50190-2 Determination of the effective case depth of heat treated parts after surface hardening
DIN 50192 Determination of depth of decarburization of steel
D IN 5 06 01 M et all og rap hi c e xam in at io n – De te rmi na ti on of th e f er ri ti c o r a us te ni tic gr ai n s ize of ste el
and ferrous materials
D IN E N 5 71 -1 N on -d es tr uc ti ve te sti ng – P en et ran t t es ti ng – P ar t 1 : G en er al pri nc ip les
D IN E N 1 00 52 V oca bu la ry of he at tr eat me nt te rms fo r f er ro us pro du cts
D IN E N 1 26 26 Sa fe ty of ma ch in er y – L as er pr oce ss in g ma ch in es – S af et y r eq ui reme nts
(ISO 11553 : 1996, modified)
DIN EN ISO 6506-1 Metallic materials – Brinell hardness test – Part 1: Test method
DIN EN ISO 6507-1 Metallic materials – Vickers hardness test – Part 1: Test method (ISO 6507-1 : 1997)
DIN EN ISO 6508-1 Metallic materials – Rockwell hardness test (scales A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, N, T) – Part1:
Test method

3 Concepts
For the purposes of this standard, the heat treatment concepts defined in DIN EN 10052 shall apply.

4 Principle of method
The surface layer of a ferrous product is austenitized and then cooled at a suitable rate. Martensite is thus formed,
increasing the hardness of the surface layer and enhancing strength and wear resistance.
The area to be hardened is heated to a temperature above  Ac3 or  Ac m by means of either flame, induction, laser
beam or electron beam hardening. For each material, the density of the heat flow rate of the heat source and
the treatment time produce a specific thermal cycle during which the surface layer is austenitized to a certain
depth at a high heating rate followed by a short soaking time as compared to other heat treatment methods.
Because of the transformation behaviour of steel, higher heating rates require higher heating temperatures to
obtain a sufficiently austenitic condition. The relationship between the heating rate and temperature can be
derived from a time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram for continuous heating. Hardening actually
occurs during the subsequent quenching of the product. Large areas can be hardened either by means of a
suitable energy transfer or by moving the product itself.
Between the hardened case and the non-hardened core lies a transition zone of several millimetres within which
the depth of hardness gradually diminishes. The depth of this zone is influenced by the heating and quenching
conditions.
In many cases, surface hardening is followed by tempering.

5 Identification of heat treatment condition


The heat treatment condition shall be indicated on drawings as specified in DIN 6773.
Instructions for performing surface hardening shall be formulated using either the ‘WBA’ form specified in
DIN 17023 or in a ‘heat treatment plan (WBP)’. Symbols used to designate the heat treatment method shall be
as specified in DIN 17014-3.

*) Currently at draft stage.


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DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

6 Procedure
6.1 Pretreatment and preparation
Products shall be pretreated and prepared to ensure a material condition suitable for surface hardening,
particularly in terms of microstructure and residual stresses, and to obtain the required core strength in the final
condition.
Prior to laser hardening, it may be necessary to clean the product surface and pretreat it to improve absorption.
Prior to electron beam hardening, the surface shall be cleaned and, if necessary, demagnetized.

6 .1 .1 P re tr ea tm ent
6.1.1.1 Stress relieving
If residual stresses (e.g. due to cutting processes) might cause distortion of the product during treatment, it is
recommended that stress relieving be carried out. Any resulting distortion can then be corrected by subsequent
machining, although there shall be an allowance great enough to eliminate any unwanted changes to the surface
layer (e.g. decarburization).
The stress relief temperature shall be close to, but shall not exceed, the transformation temperature  Ac1 of the
material being treated. In the case of quenched and tempered products, this temperature shall be lower than the
tempering temperature in order to maintain strength, and soaking for more than thirty minutes during the heating
phase will not be necessary. Heating and cooling shall be carried out slowly to prevent new residual stresses
from building up.
Cold-worked products should not be stress relieved, but rather normalized, if there is a risk that recrystallization
would result in grain coarsening.
6.1.1.2 Normalizing
Residual stresses in untreated products may also be relieved by normalizing, which at the same time alters the
microstructure, thus preventing grain coarsening in critical areas.
Normalizing parameters (normalizing temperature and duration, cooling) shall be taken from the steel
manufacturer’s specifications or other documents.
6.1.1.3 Quenching and tempering
It may be necessary to subject the product to quenching and tempering prior to treatment to obtain the desired
strength and a homogenous material condition. See DIN 17022-1 and DIN 17022-2 regarding the procedure.
To ensure that any changes to the surface layer (e.g. decarburization or oxidation) which occur during quenching
and tempering do not adversely affect subsequent treatment, the product surface should be machined before
further treatment.
6.1.1.4 Oxidizing
Prior to laser hardening, it may be necessary to o xidize the surface to promote the absorption of the laser beam
by the material. Normally, this is done by annealing the material in water vapour at a temperature between 450 °C
and 550 °C.

6 .1. 2 P re pa ra ti on
Machining or cutting residues (e.g. oxide layers, residues of cooling lubricants, cleaning agents or preservatives)
can impede the surface hardening process, as can chips, burrs, rust, scale and nonferrous metals. The
evaporation of residues during electron beam hardening can adversely affect the vacuum, while during laser
hardening such residues can affect the transfer of energy to the surface layer.
It is therefore necessary to carefully treat and thoroughly clean the products prior to hardening, depending on
the degree of surface impurities and the required quality. The surface can be cleaned by washing, deburring,
blasting or pickling.
6.1.2.1 Washing
Normally, products are washed in hot water with suitable cleaning agents. To ensure that the surface is fully
cleaned, it may be necessary to subject the surface to water-blast cleaning or ultrasound cleaning prior to
washing. After washing, the products shall be thoroughly dried.
6.1.2.2 Deburring
Burrs caused by machining can be removed by blasting, or chemical or thermal deburring. It should be noted
that thermal deburring processes oxidize the product’s surface, while in chemical processes the material reacts
with the electrolyte, so that in both cases treatment with electron beams or lasers can be impeded.
When removing adherent chips, the product should be demagnetized.
6.1.2.3 Blasting
Dry or wet blasting with suitable cleaning agents can be used to remove burrs, scale, rolling, forging or casting
skin, colorants or flux residues.
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DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

6.1.2.4 Pickling
Pickling is suitable for removing rust, scale, or rolling, forging or casting skin. Care should be taken to fully
remove all pickling residue, since this can begin to rust. Furthermore, too intensive pickling can leave pits in the
surface layer.
6.1.2.5 Coating
Prior to laser hardening, it may be necessary to supply the product with a coating that promotes laser beam
absorption (e.g. using graphite powder).
6.1.2.6 Edge protection
Prior to flame or induction hardening, it may be necessary to protect edges in the area to be hardened from
overheating. This can be done by fitting suitable copper inserts into undercuts, flutes, slots, holes, etc.

6.2 Austenitizing
Surface hardening involves a localized heating of a product’s surface layer to austenitizing temperature for a
certain length of time, with the heating process being performed once or several times, using one of several heat
sources.
The heating rate is determined by the energy supplied by the heat source and the heating time. The resulting
temperature profile for the heated case is a function of the type and density of the flow rate of the heat source,
the exposure time and the type of material being treated. The objective is to maintain a uniform temperature
distribution within a localized heated area. Care should be taken to ensure that the maximum temperature within
the case does not exceed the melting temperatures of the different phases 1 ) in the material .
With surface hardening, the austenitizing temperature is reached within a much shorter time than with furnace
heating, due to the relatively high density of heat flow rate (cf. table 1). For sufficient austenitizing, it is therefore
necessary to heat to temperatures which are 50 °C to 100 °C higher than furnace temperatures, taking care that
the temperatures in the external regions of the product are below the melting temperature of the material, to avoid
unwanted fusion.

Table 1: Density of heat flow rate of various heat sources

Density of heat flow rate, Effective case depth,


Heat source
in W/cm2 in mm
Laser beam 10 3 to 104 0,01 to 1
Electron beam 10 3 to 104 0,01 to 1
Induction:
MF 2 to 8
10 3 to 104
HF 0,1 to 2
HF-impulse 0,05 to 0,5
Flame 10 3 to 6 . 10 3 1,5 to 10
Plasma beam 10 4 –
Salt bath (convection) 20 –
 Air/ gas (convec tion ) 0,5 –

The microstructural changes taking place during the heating process are described in a time-temperature-
transformation (TTT) diagram for continuous heating (see figure 1 for an example).

1 ) For example, 950 °C f or the phos phide e utectic mixture in c ast iron.
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DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

Heating rate, in °C/s

   C
   °
  n
   i
 ,
  e
  r
  u
   t
  a
  r
  e
  p
  m
  e
   T

Complete austenitization

Partial austenitization

Ferrite + austenite + carbide

Ferrite + carbide

Time, in s
Quenching/tempering parameters: 825 °C for 15 min in water, 600 °C for 60 min in air
Figure 1: Time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram for continuous heating of grade 42CrMo4
steel in the quenched and tempered c ondition

Figure 1 shows that as the heating rate increases, austenite formation and carbide dissolution take place at
increasingly higher temperatures. The curves in the TTT diagram can be used to approximate the temperature
above which a specific microstructure can be obtained at a given heating rate.
The formation of austenite and dissolution of carbide are influenced by the type of alloying elements present and
their quantities, as well as by the material condition prior to treatment. Although a complete dissolution of
carbide is not generally desirable, enough carbide should be dissolved to ensure the carbon content of the
austenite is sufficient to achieve the required hardness.
In progressive methods the heat source or the product travels, allowing localized austenitizing with a varying
microstructure. Patterns of hardened areas can be created by moving the product. A simple example of a spiral
pattern is shown in figure 2. If a treated area is exposed a second time to the heat source, tempering occurs in
the adjacent areas, making them subject to cracking. See DIN 6773 regarding the designation of such areas.
Hardened

Not hardened
Figure 2: Example of a spiral pattern of hardened areas on a shaft
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DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

6.2.1 Induction hardening


Here the heat required for austenitizing is generated by means of induction. Heating is accomplished by placing
a product in the magnetic field generated by an alternating current passing through an inductor, usually water-
cooled. The rapidly alternating magnetic field induces current within the product and the induced currents then
generate heat.
 A conduct ive he atin g meth od can also be use d in whi ch the heated par t of the product s erve s as the indu ctor .
The depth of heating produced by induction is inversely proportional to the frequency of the alternating current.
Normally, this frequency is constant.
The formation of the heated area is determined by the type and form of the inductor and its coupling, and thus
by the distance between the inductor and the product surface. The heated case formed does not always
absolutely conform to the shape of the product.
The depth of heating is normally controlled by the alternating current power input, the inductive coupling, and
the density of the electromagnetic field. To this end, a single-turn or multi-turn induction coil, or a magnetic
inductor may be used.
Normally, the inductor remains still and the product moves, for instance to cover large areas (‘progressive
method’). A ‘spinning method’ in which the product is rotated is often used on symmetrical pieces for
concentrated heating.
 After the metal has been aus teni tized and the alter nati ng cu rrent turned off (or the pr oduct has been removed
from the inductor), the product is quenched in a suitable medium. Where the depth of heating is not very g reat,
the product can be ‘self-quenched’ by simply allowing the unheated core to draw off heat from the surface layer.

6.2.2 Flame hardening


Flame hardening is a heating method in which the product surface is austenitized by heating with a torch, which
is normally moving while the product remains still or is rotated. The depth of heating is determined by shape of
the torch, the type of gas used to create the flame, and the flo w rate of the gas.
The type of torch used determines the size of the heated area. The torch can be moved back and fo rth across
the product to cover a greater area or to obtain a greater case depth by means of thermal conduction.
Furthermore, a moving torch can help ensure that the surface temperature remains below melting temperature.
Quenching is carried out after flame hardening in much the same manner as after induction hardening.

6.2.3 Laser hardening


With this method, the heat source is a high-power laser beam. The laser is only partially absorbed by a very thin
surface layer and the rest is reflected. The extent of absorption depends on the product material, the laser’s
wavelength, the surface condition (roughness, degree of oxidation, cleanliness, etc.) and the product
temperature. Absorption can be increased by adding coatings or using polarized radiation.
The area covered by the beam can be influenced by manipulating the optical components or mirrors used to
create the laser beam. The depth of heating is determined by the level of thermal conduction.
By moving the laser beam and product in relation to each other, the area of treatment can be moved.
Measures are to be taken to protect persons and property f rom direct and reflected radiation, as specified in
DIN EN 12626.

6.2.4 Electron beam hardening


With this method, the heat source is an electron beam formed by means of magnetic lenses and directed at the
product’s surface. Both the electron beam and the product are in a vacuum. With their kinetic energy, the
electrons heat the product to a depth of about 10 m m to 50 mm, with the actual depth of heating being determined
by the level of thermal conduction. It should be noted that X-rays are emitted, depending on the accelerating
voltage, and sputtering occurs at the surface. The electric charge of the product has to be dissipated via the
product and its holder.
The size of the treated area can be adjusted by changing the shape of the beam, or by guiding it or splitting it.
The location of the area can be adjusted by moving the beam or the product.

6.3 Quenching
Quenching is performed using a medium that is suitable for the material’s hardness, and for the size and shape
of the product. For smaller heating depths and where the relevant product dimension is about ten times the
effective case depth, quenching may not be necessary because the bulk of the product acts as an adequate heat
sink for ‘self-quenching’.
For regular quenching, the product can either be dipped in the quenching medium, or nozzles can be used to
spray the product with the medium.
 As with heat ing, quen chin g produces differe nces between the core and case temperat ures , whic h in turn creates
stresses that can lead to distortion or cracking. It may therefore be necessary to limit the quenching action.
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DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

Figure 3 shows an example of a continuous-cooling-transformation (CCT) diagram, which illustrates the phase
transformations taking place in a grade 42CrMo4 steel during quenching at austenitizing temperature. The
regions in which microstructural changes occur are shown as curves, whose position and shape are determined
by the steel’s material composition and the austenitizing conditions. The expected microstructure of the case
at ambient temperature and the relevant hardness can be approximated on the basis of the cooling curves in the
diagram.
In the case of surface hardening, a full transformation to martensite is desirable. This is only possible if the critical
cooling rate, vKm, characteristic for each steel can be reached within the austenitized region. If the hardenability
of the material is too low, the case is too deep, or the quenching effect is not sufficient, then other constituents
(e.g. bainite, pearlite or ferrite) form in addition to martensite. Hypereutectoid steel can also contain undissolved
or preeutectoid carbides, as well as retained austenite.
The transformation of austenite into martensite begins once the cooling temperature goes below the Ms
temperature, and is not complete until the Mf  temperature is reached, which can be below ambient temperature,
depending on the composition of the material and the austenitizing conditions.

 Aust enit zing temperat ure: 850 °C

Pearlite
   C Ferrite
   °  Austenite Pearlite
  n
   i
 ,
  e
  r
  u
   t
  a
  r
  e Bainite
  p
  m
  e
   T

Martensite
Bainite content (%)
Retained austenite content (%)

Minutes

Hours

Time, in s Days

Figure 3: Continuous-cooling-transformation (CCT) diagram for a grade 42CrMo4 steel

6.4 Subzero treatment


The amount of retained austenite at ambient temperature can be reduced by subzero treatment. This may be
necessary if tempering would lower the hardness value, or there are special requirements regarding the
dimensional stability of the product. However, subzero treatment increases the brittleness of the material, thus
reducing tensile or fatigue strength. Because the retained austenite stabilizes immediately after quenching,
subzero treatment should be carried out directly following the quenching process. Tempering at low
temperatures can also lead to the stabilization of retained austenite. See subclause 8.2 for suitable subzero
cooling media.
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DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

6.5 Tempering
Tempering involves heating the product and soaking it at tempering temperature, then cooling it to ambient
temperature. Either the entire product or the case only is heated.
Tempering should immediately follow the hardening process, although the product should be allowed to cool
to ambient temperature first. Normally, tempering is carried out between 180 °C and 220 °C, rarely above these
temperatures. If tempering is performed in a furnace, the soaking time should be at least one hour.

7 Secondary treatment
Normally no secondary treatment is performed on surface hardened products aside from mechanical or
chemical surface treatment.

8 Heat treatment media


8.1 Cooling and quenching media
Quenching can be carried out with or without a quenching medium. Quenching using a medium is necessary if
self-quenching will not occur at the required critical cooling rate; this is normally the case for flame or induction
hardening, while self-quenching is usually sufficient after laser or electron beam processes.

8 .1 .1 L iq uid m ed ia
Common liquid quenching media include water with or without additives, and oil. It should be noted that polymer
additives lower the cooling rate as compared to water without additives. The temperature of the quenching
medium is maintained within a narrow range, with water normally being used at a temperature between 15 °C
and 40 °C and oil normally being used either at ambient temperature or a temperature above 60 °C.

8.1.2 Gaseous media


Still or forced air, and nitrogen may be used as gaseous quenching media. The quenching effect is dramatically
lower in gaseous media than in liquids, although it can be increased by raising the pressure or the flow rate.

8.2 Subzero treatment media


In conventional freezers, the cooled air cools the products to about –60 °C. Special equipment can be used to
lower the temperature to –140 °C. Temperatures below –60 °C may be reached by using dry ice, alcohol mixtures
or liquefied gases (e.g. liquid nitrogen, which has a temperature of –196 °C).

9 Effects of surface hardening


9.1 Effects on case structure
Because the product surface is heated to a temperature well above  Ac3 and  Acm in current practice, the
formation of austenite is to be expected, as shown in TTT diagrams for various steels. Throughout the heating
process, the degree of austenite formation 2 ) decreas es with increasin g depth; the phase s formed are influenc ed
by the heating and quenching conditions, and the product material. Figure 4 shows a schematic representation
of the hardness profile and phases in a quenched and tempered and then surface hardened product.
The microstructure of hardened or quenched and tempered materials can be divided into several zones. Starting
at the core and moving towards the surface these are: a tempering zone, a mixed zone with martensite, bainite,
pearlite, ferrite and carbide, and a martensitic zone. Decarburization can occur in the case, depending on the
thermal cycle and material. Laser hardening can cause layers to form which promote absorption, leading to
carburization.

2 ) The degre e of austenite form atio n is given by the degr ee of carb ide disso luti on, the uniformit y of the austenite
and the austenitic grain size (cf. DIN 17022-1).
P ag e 9
DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

Fully and
uniformly
austenitized and
quenched with
Hardness profile
V  ö V km

Fully austenitized
  s but quenched with
  s V  < V km
  e Partially
  n
   d
  r
austenitized
  a
   H Quenched and
tempered original
microstructure

Original microstructure
Martensite +
with tempering at
bainite +
Martensite, higher temperatures
Primarily pearlite +
martensite bainite, pearlite ferrite

Distance from surface


Figure 4: Example of hardness profile and microstructure in a quenched and tempered steel
(schematic)

9.2 Effects on hardness and effective case depth


The hardness of the case formed by surface hardening is a function of the type, amount and distribution of
martensite, bainite, pearlite, ferrite and carbide. Figure 5 shows a schematic hardness profile for two steels with
different carbon concentrations.

   V
   H
  s
  s
  e
  n
   d
  r
  a
   H

Distance from surface, in mm

Figure 5: Hardness profiles for surface hardened steels with different carbon concentrations in the
non-tempered original condition (schematic)
Page 10
DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

9.3 Effects on shape and dimensions


Localized heating and quenching can cause extensive dimensional changes and can produce residual stresses
in different areas of the product due to thermal expansion and phase transformations. Since this can lead to
distortion, products should be fixed in place or prestressed.
Furthermore, products which had residual stresses before hardening and which were not sufficiently tempered
or stress relieved will become distorted during the hardening process.

10 Defects in heat treated products


Defects in heat treated products are rarely due to a single cause. In addition to the heat treatment process itself,
possible causes include the material and shape of the product, the machining process and service conditions.
Table 2 lists some of the most common defects which occur in practice and which can be attributed to the surface
hardening process, assuming the products have been delivered in good condition without any defects.

Table 2: Defects and their possible causes

Refer to
Defect Cause Heat treatment error
subclause
1 Surface hardness too 1.1 Insufficiently a) Austenitizing temperature 6.2
low transformed pearlite, too low
ferrite, or insufficiently b) Austenitizing time too short
dissolved carbides
1.2 Insufficient amount of
martensite in case...
1.2.1 due to formation of a) Austenitizing temperature 6.2
bainite, pearlite or too low
ferrite b) Austenitizing time too short 6.2
c) Insufficient quenching 6.3, 8.1
(through medium or self-
quenching)
d) Too much oxidation of 8.1
edges
e) Case is decarburized 8.1
1.2.2 due to retained a) Austenitizing temperature 6.2
austenite too high (overheating)
b) Austenitizing time too long 6.2
c) Insufficient, improperly 6.4
timed, or no subzero
treatment
d) Insufficient, improperly 6.5
timed, or no tempering
e) C ar bur iz at io n d ue to u se o f 9 .1
coatings
1.3 Martensite too soft, a) Tempering temperature too 6.5
possibly localized high
b) Tempering time too long 6.5
c) Overlapping treatment of 6.2
already hardened areas
1.4 Too much retained a) No tempering or tempering 6.5
a us te ni te or to o f ew d on e a t wr on g ti me
carbides1 ) diss olved b) Temp erin g tempera ture too 6.5
low
c) Tempering time too short 6.5
2 Surface hardness too Martensite in case too a) No tempering 6.5
great hard b) Tempering temperature too 6.5
low
c) N ot te mpe red en oug h ti me s 6 .5
3 Effective case depth 3.1 Austenitization does a) Austenitizing temperature 6.2
too small not cover entire area too low
b ) A us te nit izi ng ti me to o s ho rt 6 .2

(continued)

For 1 ), s ee page 11.


Page 11
DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

Table 2 (concluded)

Refer to
Defect Cause Heat treatment error
subclause
3.2 Too little martensite Quenching rate too slow 6.3, 8.1
4 E ff ect iv e c as e d ept h T em pe rature too high wh en a) Au st en it iz in g t em pe rat ur e 6 .2
too great preheating to austenitizing too high
temperature b) Austenitizing time too long 6.2
5 Too much distortion Thermal and a) Too quickly or unevenly 6.3, 9.3
transformation stresses too heated and austenitized
great or unevenly b) Product not properly 9.3
distributed arranged
c) Area to be treated not 6.2
suitably designed
6 C racking Thermal and a) T oo quickly or unevenly 6.2
transformation stresses too heated and austenitized
g reat (localized brittleness) b) Too quickly or unevenly 6.3
quenched
c) No tempering 6.5
d ) T emp er in g te mp er atu re t oo 6 .5
low
e) Tempering time too short 6.5
f) Overlapping treatment of 6.2
already hardened areas
7 Distortion of corners Unintended fusion a) Temperature too high 6.2
and edges or b) Treatment time too long 6.2
warping c) Power of heat 6.2
source too high
d) Edges overheated 6.1, 2.6
1 ) Appl ies only to stee ls h avin g under gone se condary hard enin g.

11 Designing for heat treatment


The product shape and size are major factors influencing the hardness profile and stresses created during the
hardening process, as well as the resulting distortion. By selecting a suitable design the likelihood of distortion
and the risk of cracking can be minimized, and often the life o f the product can be increased. Abrupt changes
in cross section can have different effects on the hardness profile, depending on the method used. The following
design principles should therefore be taken into account.
– A suitable mass distribution can be obtained by avoiding designs with abrupt changes in cross section
(cf. figure 6).
– Instead of abrupt changes in cross section, give preference to rounded or bevelled transitions (cf.
figure7).
– Where the case extends to an edge of the product, include a chamfer (cf. figure 8).
– Symmetrical designs should be used wherever possible (cf. figure 9).

Unsuitable

Suitable

Figure 6: Examples of suitable and unsuitable mass distribution


Page 12
DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

Unsuitable

Suitable

Figure 7: Examples of suitable and unsuitable changes in cross section

Unsuitable Suitable

Figure 8: Examples of suitable and unsuitable edge designs

Unsuitable Suitable

Figure 9: Examples of asymmetrical and symmetrical designs

If it is not possible to design the product so that it is suitable for surface hardening, the product should receive
its final form after hardening, as shown in figure 10.

Detail X
Detail X
Removed by machining
after hardening

Figure 10: Giving the product its final form after hardening (example)
Page 13
DIN 17022-5 : 2000-03

12 Straightening
When straightening hardened products, it should be noted that the case has practically no deformability and can
therefore break even when only slightly deformed. For this reason, straightening of such products should be
avoided.
Slight distortions can be removed by bending the product using a straightening press, machine or bench, or by
subjecting it to selective heating. When thermally straightening localized areas, care should be taken that the
case is not tempered by the heating, since this will reduce hardness.
It should be noted that the residual stresses induced by straightening may create renewed distortion.
Straightening should be performed before tempering, since then the risk of cracking, the formation of residual
stresses, and of deformation is lower.

13 Testing surface hardened products


When the effective case depth is determined, the product is destroyed. If this is not permitted, a reference
specimen, preferably of the same material condition, size and shape as the product, should be heat treated along
with the products, or an extra number of products are to be treated.
Table 3 lists methods for testing the effectiveness of the heat treatment procedure. If a batch of several products
has been treated, sampling should be carried out following statistical principles.
The product user shall decide whether test results are suitable for determining the performance characteristics
of the product.

Table 3: Testing surface hardened products

Property/characteristic tested Test method


1 Hardness As in DIN 50103-3, DIN EN ISO 6506-1,
DIN EN ISO 6507-1 and DIN EN ISO 6508-1
2 E ffective case depth As in DIN 50190-2
3 Extent of unintended fusion Visual examination of cleaned products, without
any further pretreatment
4 Soft spots a) Hardness testing
b) Visual or macroscopic examination of etched
(preferably polished 1 )) or blas ted surface
5 Cracking a) Visual examination of cleaned products
b) Micrographic examination (macro- or
microscopic)
c) Penetration testing as in DIN EN 571-1
d) Ultrasound testing
e) Eddy current testing
f) Magnetic flaw detection
6 Microstructure:
6.1 Form, number and structure of constituents
(martensite, bainite, pearlite, ferrite, retained
austenite and carbides) Micrographic
6.2 Grain size and form examination As in DIN 50601
6.3 Decarburization or carburization of surface As in DIN 50192
layer
1 ) Poli shing shal l be carr ied out so that the sof t spots in t he s urface laye r ar e no t re move d.