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Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Chapter 11
Sections 11.7 to end
Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys
Will learn more on how thermal processing techniques
can be used to control microstructure and mechanical
properties of metal alloys

Annealing, Stress Relief


More on Heat Treatment of Steels
Precipitation Hardening

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Annealing
Stages of annealing:
Heating to required temperature
Holding (soaking) at constant
temperature
Cooling

Soaking time at the high temperature needs to be long


enough to allow desired transformation to occur.
Cooling is done slowly to avoid warping/cracking of due
to the thermal gradients and thermo-elastic stresses
within the or even cracking the metal piece.

Purposes of annealing:
Relieve internal stresses
Increase ductility, toughness, softness
Produce specific microstructure

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Examples of heat treatment


Process Annealing
effects of work-hardening (recovery and
recrystallization) and increase ductility.
Heating limited to avoid excessive grain
growth and oxidation

Stress Relief Annealing


minimizes stresses due to
o Plastic deformation during machining
o Nonuniform cooling
o Phase transformations between phases
with different densities
Annealing temperatures relatively low
so that useful effects of cold working
are not eliminated
University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Annealing of Fe-C Alloys (I)

Lower critical temperature A1


below which austenite does not exist

Upper critical temperatures A3 and Acm


above which all material is austenite
University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Annealing of Fe-C Alloys (II)

Normalizing: annealing heat treatment just above


upper critical temperature to reduce grain sizes (of
pearlite and proeutectoid phase) and make more
uniform size distributions.

Austenitizing complete transformation to austenite


University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Annealing of Fe-C Alloys (III)

Full annealing: austenizing + slow cooling (several


hours) Produces coarse pearlite (and possible
proeutectoid phase) that is relatively soft and
ductile. Used to soften pieces which have been
hardened by plastic deformation, but need to
undergo subsequent machining/forming.
Spheroidizing: prolonged heating just below the
eutectoid temperature, results in the soft spheroidite
structure. This achieves maximum softness needed in
subsequent forming
University of Virginia,operations.
Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Heat Treatment of Steels


Martensite has strongest microstructure.
Can be made more ductile by tempering.

Optimum properties of quenched and tempered


steel are realized with high content of martensite

Problem: difficult to maintain same conditions


throughout volume during cooling:
Surface cools more quickly than interior,
producing range of microstructures in volume
Martensitic content, and hardness, will drop from
a high value at surface to a lower value inside

Production of uniform martensitic structure


depends on
composition
quenching conditions
size + shape of specimen
University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Hardenability
Hardenability is the ability of Fe-C alloy to harden
by forming martensite

Hardenability (not hardness): Qualitative


measure of rate at which hardness decreases with
distance from surface due to decreased martensite
content

High hardenability means the ability of the alloy to


produce a high martensite content throughout the
volume of specimen

Hardenability measured by Jominy end-quench


test performed for standard cylindrical specimen,
standard austenitization conditions, and standard
quenching conditions (jet of water at specific flow
rate and temperature).

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Jominy end-quench test of Hardenability

Hardenability curve is the dependence of hardness


on distance from the quenched end.

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Hardenability Curve

Less Martensite

Quenched end cools most rapidly, contains most


martensite
Cooling rate decreases with distance from
quenched end: greater C diffusion, more
pearlite/bainite, lower hardness
High hardenability means that the hardness
curve is relatively flat.
University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Influence of Quenching Medium, Specimen Size,


and Geometry on Hardenability

Quenching medium: Cools faster in water than air


or oil. Fast cooling warping and cracks, since it
is accompanied by large thermal gradients

Shape and size: Cooling rate depends upon


extraction of heat to surface. Greater the ratio of
surface area to volume, deeper the hardening effect

Spheres cool slowest, irregular objects fastest.

Radial
hardness
profiles of
cylindrical
steel bars

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Precipitation Hardening

Inclusion of a phase strengthens material

Lattice distortion around secondary phase


impedes dislocation motion
Precipitates form when solubility limit exceeded
Precipitation hardening called age hardening
(Hardening over prolonged time)

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Heat Treatment for Precipitation Hardening (I)

Solution heat treatment: To solute atoms A


dissolved to form a single-phase () solution.
Rapid cooling across solvus to exceed solubility
limit. Leads to metastable supersaturated solid
solution at T1. Equilibrium structure is +, but
limited diffusion does not allow to form.
Precipitation heat treatment: supersaturated
solution heated to T2 where diffusion is
University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Heat Treatment for Precipitation Hardening (II)

Discs of Cu atoms 1 or 2
monolayers thick

Lattice No Lattice Distortions


Distortions

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys
Strength and ductility during precipitation hardening

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Summary
Make sure you understand language and concepts:

Annealing
Austenitizing
Full annealing
Hardenability
Jominy end-quench test
Overaging
Precipitation hardening
Precipitation heat treatment
Process annealing
Solution heat treatment
Spheroidizing
Stress relief

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Introduction to Materials Science, Chapter 11, Thermal Processing of Metal Alloys

Reading for next class:

Chapter 12: Structure and Properties of Ceramics


Crystal Structures
Silicate Ceramics
Carbon
Imperfections in Ceramics

Optional reading: 12.7 end

University of Virginia, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering