KNIFE Metallurgy of Steel for Bladesmiths and Others who by John D. Verhoeven

By John D. Verhoeven

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Therefore most martensites are 34 tempered by heating to low temperatures. The tempering causes very small carbides to form in the martensite which reduces strength but enhances ductility. It also makes tempered martensite etch dark in the optical microscope. 8 To form martensite one must quench austenite to temperatures below the Ms temperature. As the quench temperature drops below Ms, progressively more martensite forms until the Mf temperature is reached where 100 % martensite forms. Between Ms and Mf a structure of martensite plus retained austenite is found, Figs.

It uses a larger ball, either hardened steel or tungsten carbide, and measures the diameter of the indent. This test is a 2-step test in that first the indent must be made and then the indent diameter measured optically. ) The Brinell hardness number (referred to variously as HB or BHN) is then determined either from a table or using an equation on a calculator. 3 Approximate equivalent hardness numbers for several hardness tests on steels (a). 7 UTS(ksi ) 1 62 1 57 1 53 1 49 1 45 1 42 1 38 1 35 1 32 1 28 1 25 1 22 1 20 1 17 1 14 1 12 1 10 1 06 1 02 98 94 90 87 84 80 77 75 (a) For carbon and alloy steels in the annealed, normalized and quenched and tempered condition and for aus tenitic steels.

These involve heat treating and/or mechanical deformation. Consider first the heat treating technique called flame hardening. The surface of a piece of steel is heated up much faster than its interior can follow by an intense flame directed at the surface. This causes a layer of the steel at the surface to become austenite while the interior remains ferrite + pearlite. On rapid cooling with a quench of some sort the surface layer will transform to martensite while the inner region remains ferrite + pearlite.

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