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Introduction

This experiment analyzes the effects of different heat treatments on the

microstructure of 1018, 1045, and 4340 steel. To perform this analysis, metallography

was used to observe the microstructures

.

Each steel sample must be properly polished

and etched in order to be examined. Metallography is important in

Welding Engineering

for the analysis of welds, and without it, the strength of welds and weld failure cannot be

determined on an optical level. This experiment also analyzes the microstructures of

weld heat-affected zones, the affect of post-weld heat treatment, and changes in hardness

of post-weld heat treatment, and changes in hardness and hardenability. Each sample was heat treated by

and hardenability.

Each sample was heat treated by air cooling, water quenching, or tempering.

Different heat treatments have different affects on the precipitation of phases. Steels

have six major phases below the 6.7% carbon region: ferrite, austenite, cementite,

martensite, bainite, and pearlite. Each phase gives the steel different properties, such as

hardness and ductility. Phase(s) precipitated in the

steel is important because each

treatment is similar to what happens in a weld. The microstructure of welds is important

because it can determine the strength of the weld.

The duration of cooling rates also affects microstructure. Slow cooling rates, such

also affect s microstructure. Slow cooling rates, such as air cooling, allow carbon to diffuse. Fast

as air cooling, allow carbon to diffuse. Fast cooling rates, such as water quenching, do

not allow carbon to diffuse. Higher carbon content means increased hardness of the steel.

Martensite has high carbon content and has high hardness, while ferrite has low carbon

content and has low hardness.

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William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:24 PM Comment [5]: Extra!space !
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William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:24 PM Comment [6]: Not!capitalized !
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William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:27 PM Comment [7]: In!all!your!reports,!try!to!avoid!the!
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:27 PM
Comment [7]: In!all!your!reports,!try!to!avoid!the!
word!“important,”!rather,!show!importance.!By!
simply!saying!“the!microstructure!of!welds!
determine!their!strength.”!You’ve!already!shown !
why!microstructure!is!important,!thus,!you!don’t!
need!to!say!it.! !
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:28 PM Deleted:
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Steels are tempered in order to allow some carbon to diffuse

out . Carbon

diffusion increases the ductility of the steel, while decreasing the strength. Tempered

steels have lower hardness.

If

tempered below the eutectoid temperature, martensite will

be retained and, although hardness will decrease, the hardness will still be higher than a

steel containing ferrite.

The major difference between the steel and welded steel is that the welded steel

microstructure changes as it moves away from the fusion zone: the melted part of the

weld. This is the area of the base metal in which the microstructure has been changed by

heating, known as the heat-affected zone (HAZ). This difference in microstructure

throughout the HAZ is due to heat flow through the material. The HAZ is heated and

cooled non-uniformly, which leads to different microstructures.

Many of these microstructural phases look similar and cannot be determined by

microscopic observation. Thus, the use of CCT diagrams, the Fe-C phase diagram,

hardness tests, and the hardness vs. composition diagram will help determine the

microstructure of the steels. The CCT (continuous cooling transformation) diagram plots

the temperature vs. time for a specimen with different cooling rates. The different

transformation lines are projected on the diagram as to when the steel will transform into

the specific phase. Given the cooling rate, it can be determined what phases(s) are

present in the steel by the regions that cooling rate crosses. The Fe-C phase diagram is

used upon re-heating (tempering) to know in which phase region the steel is located.

Hardness is the measure of a material to not plastically deform. Hardness is

measured using a macrohardness machine. Hardenability is how much a material can be

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William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:30 PM Comment [8]: You!only!need!a!single!space!after! all!your!sentence. !
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:30 PM
Comment [8]: You!only!need!a!single!space!after!
all!your!sentence. !
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:31 PM Comment [9]: You!need!some!connective!words!
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:31 PM
Comment [9]: You!need!some!connective!words!
like!“but,”!“however,”!“therefore,”!“thus,”!to!make!
the!structure!of!your!paragraphs!less!choppy. !
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hardened upon quenching and is affected by the grain size. The larger the grain size, the

higher the hardenability because it takes longer for transformations to occur. With higher

hardenability, comes higher the hardness. Higher hardness increases the probability of

the formation of martensite because it’s rich in carbon. Low hardness readings could

mean ferrite, as seen in the Fe-C diagram, or that tempered martensite is present, and is

diagram, or that tempered martensite is present , and is a n indicator of low carbon.

an indicator of low carbon. Tempered martensite is softer than regular martensite

Tempered martensite is softer than regular martensite because some carbon has diffused out of the steel.

because some carbon has diffused out of the steel. The hardness vs. carbon composition

diagram predicts whether tempered martensite or ferrite is present.

The 4340 steel is alloyed with Ni, Cr, and Mo

. These different elements cause a

shift in the nose of the

phase transformation curves. The nose is shifted because the steel

requires more energy to change phases and thus, needs more

time at a higher temperature.

With the curve shifted, it takes longer cooling times to precipitate different phases. Any

fast-cooled alloyed steel, such as those

present in Figure 17 and 23

, will produce

martensite because the cooling curve cannot cross into another phase region. With easier

production of martensite, alloyed steels will have high hardness because of the high

hardness associated with martensite.

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William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:41 PM Comment [10]: Why ! did!you!abbreviate!these!
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:41 PM
Comment [10]: Why ! did!you!abbreviate!these!
when!you’ve!spelled!out!all!other!elements.!Treat!
things!uniformly. !
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:41 PM Comment [11]: Combine!these!two!similarly! phrased!sentences !
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:41 PM
Comment [11]: Combine!these!two!similarly!
phrased!sentences !
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:42 PM Comment [12]: You!shouldn’t!be!referencing!
William Kurlinkus 10/13/12 10:42 PM
Comment [12]: You!shouldn’t!be!referencing!
figures!until!after!you!introduce!them!in!your!results!
section. !