The heat treatment process generally includes three processes of heating, heat preservation and cooling, and sometimes there are only two processes of heating and cooling. These processes are interconnected and uninterrupted. Heating is one of the important processes of heat treatment. There are many heating methods for metal heat treatment. The earliest ones used charcoal and coal as heat sources, and more recently, liquid and gas fuels were used. The application of electricity makes heating easy to control and free of environmental pollution. These heat sources can be used for direct heating or indirect heating through molten salt or gold, or even floating particles. When the metal is heated, the workpiece is exposed to the air, and oxidation and decarburization often occur (that is, the carbon content on the surface of the steel part is reduced), which has a very adverse effect on the surface properties of the parts after heat treatment. Therefore, the metal should usually be heated in a controlled atmosphere or protective atmosphere, in molten salt and in vacuum, and can also be protected by coating or packaging methods. The heating temperature is one of the important process parameters of the heat treatment process. The selection and control of the heating temperature are the main issues to ensure the quality of the heat treatment. The heating temperature varies with the metal material to be processed and the purpose of the heat treatment, but generally it is heated above the phase transition temperature to obtain a high-temperature structure. In addition, the transformation takes a certain amount of time, so when the surface of the metal workpiece reaches the required heating temperature, it must be maintained at this temperature for a certain period of time to make the internal and external temperatures consistent and the microstructure changes completely. This period of time is called the holding time. When high-energy density heating and surface heat treatment are used, the heating speed is extremely fast, and there is generally no holding time, while the holding time of chemical heat treatment is often longer.
Cooling is also an indispensable step in the heat treatment process. The cooling method varies with different processes, mainly controlling the cooling rate. Generally, the cooling rate of annealing is the slowest, the cooling rate of normalizing is faster, and the cooling rate of quenching is faster. However, there are also different requirements due to different steel types. For example, hollow-hardened steel can be hardened with the same cooling rate as normalizing.
Overheating Overheating of the microstructure after quenching can be observed from the rough mouth of the bearing parts. But to accurately judge the degree of its overheating must observe the microstructure. If coarse acicular martensite appears in the quenched structure of GCr15 steel, it is a quenched superheated structure. The reason for the formation may be the overall overheating caused by the quenching heating temperature is too high or the heating and holding time is too long; it may also be due to serious banded carbides in the original structure, forming local martensitic needle-like thick in the low-carbon area between the two bands, localized overheating. The retained austenite in the superheated structure increases and the dimensional stability decreases. Due to the overheating of the quenched structure and the coarse crystals of the steel, the toughness of the parts will be reduced, the impact resistance will be reduced, and the life of the bearing will also be reduced.
Chemical heat treatment is to make the surface of the workpiece infiltrate the atoms of one or several chemical elements, thereby changing the chemical composition, structure and properties of the surface of the workpiece. After quenching and low temperature tempering, the surface of the workpiece has high hardness, wear resistance and contact fatigue strength, and the core of the workpiece has high toughness.
Case hardening and tempering heat treatment is usually carried out by induction heating or flame heating. The main technical parameters are surface hardness, local hardness and effective hardened layer depth. Vickers hardness tester can be used for hardness testing, Rockwell or surface Rockwell hardness tester can also be used. The selection of the test force (scale) is related to the depth of the effective hardened layer and the surface hardness of the workpiece. There are three durometers involved here. 1. Vickers hardness tester is an important method to test the surface hardness of heat-treated workpieces. It can use a test force of 0.5-100kg to test the surface hardened layer as thin as 0.05mm thick. Its accuracy is yes, and it can distinguish the surface hardness of heat-treated workpieces. small differences. In addition, the depth of the effective hardened layer is also detected by a Vickers hardness tester. Therefore, it is necessary to have a Vickers hardness tester for units that perform surface heat treatment processing or use a large number of surface heat treatment workpieces. 2. The surface Rockwell hardness tester is also very suitable for testing the hardness of surface quenched workpieces. There are three scales for the surface Rockwell hardness tester to choose from. Various case-hardened workpieces with an effective hardening depth of more than 0.1mm can be tested. Although the accuracy of the surface Rockwell hardness tester is not as high as that of the Vickers hardness tester, it has been able to meet the requirements as a detection method for quality management and qualification inspection of heat treatment plants. Moreover, it also has the characteristics of simple operation, convenient use, low price, rapid measurement, and direct reading of hardness values. Using the surface Rockwell hardness tester, batches of surface heat-treated workpieces can be quickly and non-destructively tested piece by piece. This has important implications for metalworking and machine building plants. 3. When the surface heat treatment hardening layer is thick, the Rockwell hardness tester can also be used. When the thickness of the heat treatment hardened layer is 0.4-0.8mm, the HRA scale can be used, and when the thickness of the hardened layer exceeds 0.8mm, the HRC scale can be used. The three hardness values of Vickers, Rockwell and superficial Rockwell can be easily converted to each other and converted into standard, drawing or user-required hardness value. The corresponding conversion table has been given in the international standard ISO, American standard ASTM and Chinese standard GB/T.