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Metal Science

and Heat

Treatment

Vol. 40,

Nos.

11 -

12,

1998

SCIENTIFIC HERITAGE OF A. P. GULYAEV

A. P Gulyaev belongs to the category of scientists who possess a universal knowledge in thefield of metal science. In fact his thought worked in virtually any direction the science developed. He has equally mastered the problems of diffusion in solid bodies, alloying, strength and fracture, toughness and brittleness, plasticity and superplasticity, deformation, and heat and chemical heat treatment. He had a rare girl of foreseeing the results, determining the essence of the prob- lems, and making an optimum experiment. Therefore, virtu- ally all his works present undoubted scientific and methodo-

COLD TREATMENT

A.

P.

Gulyaev

OF STEEL

logical interest. During his 70-year scientifu: activity he pub- lished over 400 works devoted to various problems of metal science. Below we present three of them which characterize

his research for almost 40 years,

steel" (Vestnik Inzhenerov i Tekhnikov, No. 4- 5, pp. 140- 147, 1946), "'The theory of high-speed steel" (Stanki i In- strument, No. 2 - 3, pp. 14 - 19, 1946), and "Fundamentals

of the science of powder alloys" (Metallovedenie i Ter- micheskaya Obrabotka Metallov, No. 11, pp. 25 - 33, 1988).

namely, "Cold treatment of

Translated from Metallovedenie i Termicheskaya Obrabotka Metallov, No. 11, pp. 19 - 26, November, 1998.

INTRODUCTION

It had been shown over 30 years ago that cooling of a quenched steel to a negative temperature causes an additional formation of martensite at the expense of retained austenite. However, this concept has been doubted quite often. For ex- ample, the known researchers Nilsen and Dowdell [1] showed in 1934 that high-speed steels do not experience this transformation. In 1936 I undertook a study of the transformation below 0~ The obtained purely theoretical dependences allowed me in 1937 to pose a question of how expedient it is to apply cold treatment to tool steels. In [2] a standard high-speed steel of grade R was shown to experience a transformation of retained austenite into martensite in cooling to a negative temperature which was determinable by magnetic and dilatometric analyses and measurement of the hardness hut undeterminable at the mi- crostructural level. It has been shown in the same work that it is not neces- sary to use a treatment to - 183~ a sufficient temperature is about - 70~ which is easier to provide. This obstacle deter- mined the possibility of a wide-range application of cold treatment. At the same time, it was noted that "the growth of the hardness (in cold treatment) is a very advantageous prospect for practice and the heat treatment connected with cooling to a temperature below 0~ which can he used as a new method for tool steels" [2]. It was then shown that the application of the method can be extended to other steels, i.e., ball bearing (ShKh-15) and carbon (U-12) steels.

449

For the first time the use of cold treatment was shown to have a practical importance, namely, it was shown that:

(a) cooling to a negative temperature causes a transfor-

mation of retained austenite in widely used tool steels (high- speed, carbon, ball-bearing, etc.), which increases the hard- ness; this circumstance makes it possible to recommend the new method of heat treatment, and

(b) the actual kinds of steel do not require exceedingly

low temperatures (for example, the use of liquid oxygen hav- ing a temperature -183~ it is sufficient to use dry ice (fi'om - 70 to - 80~

Thus, the conduction of heat treatment moves to a new temperature range down the temperature scale.

However, we were still short of data on the transforma- tions at negative temperatures. It was obvious for us that the problem required a detailed study [2]. In the end of 1937 and in the middle of 1938 two more works appeared on the transformations at a sub-zero tempera- ture. A study of three high-carbon alloys made by Bigeev [3]

showed that at a temperature below 0~

into martensite. A novel moment of the work consisted in that a hold at a room temperature created a certain hysteresis pro- portionai to this hold. In 1938 N. Minkevich, O. Ivanov, and Ya, Dovgalevskii [4] established that cooling to a negative temperature causes a transformation ofaustenite into martensite in standard steel of .grade R and in high-chromium substitutors (in steels 1~I-173 and

EI-184).

The main theoretical data requisite for practical use were published in 1939 in [5] by the author of the present paper.

austenite transforms

0026-0673/98/I

112-0449520.00 9 1999 Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers

450

The transformation of austenite into martensite at nega- tive temperatures was studied in detail for three high-alloy steels, namely, high-speed steel R, high-chromium steel (Kh- 12), and silchrome (SKh- 12) [5]. It was shown in this work that:

(a) the martensite transformation in steel develops in a

specific temperature range. Starting from the point of the be- ginning of marten.site transformation it occurs to the point of the end of the martensite transformation. Today these points are denoted as follows (as suggested by American scientists):

the point at which the martensite transformation starts is de-

noted Ms and the point when it finishes is denoted My. At that time it was shown for the first time that in addition to the point of the end of the martensite transformation a steel pos- sesses a critical point lying below 0~

(b) the temperature of the end of martensite transforma-

tion (My) depends on the composition of the steel (austenite) and, for the majority of actual steels, is equal from - 100~ to - 70~ For the transformation to be the most complete, cooling to this temperature is enough; a deeper cooling be- low the point Mf does not increase the fullness of the trans- formation;

(c) the transformation of austenite into martensite occurs

only in cooling; a hold at a low temperature or a repeated cooling do not cause an additional formation ofmartensite af- ter the steel acquires a temperature corresponding to the

point My;

(d) only an immediate cooling after quenching promotes

the maximum possible transformation of austenite. Stabiliza- tion of austenite observed in aging at a room temperature does not affect the temperature of the end of martensite trans- formation but diminishes the effect of cooling to negative

temperatures. In 1937 I suggested [6] testing cold treated tools and es- tablished that their cutting properties improved, especially in operation in finishing turnings. After 1939 cold treatment was used in the industry but not at a large scale. At the present time, many plants have turned to using this method which has largely been stimulated by data obtained recently in the USA. The cited works [5, 6] began to be known in America in 1940- 1941. On getting acquainted with my works [3, 6] the known American researchers Gordon and Cohen studied the trans- formation of austenite in high-speed steel below 0~ On the whole, their data published in 1942 [7] confirmed my conclu- sions fully. The vice-president of the American Metals Society, Jill, wrote in [8] that the first work on the problem made in the USA was that of Gordon and Cohen in 1942. They wrote in their work that the data obtained by them in measuring the hardness, the volume changes, and the magnetic permeability confirm the conclusions of engineer Gulyaev. Starting from 1943- 1944 American technical journals presented much data on the use of cold treatment in this or

A. E Gulyaev

that area. As a rule, they mentioned that the method began to be used in the Soviet Union after experiments on the transfor- mation in steels below 0~ For example, Berlien [9] writes, "works on transforma- tions below 0~ have been conducted by Gordon and Cohen

in the Technological Institute and Gulyaev in Russia. Their

results were used for treating numerous steel parts."

Cold treatment (sub-zero treatment) had found wide ap- plication in the USA. In April, 1944 De-Poit wrote that the range of the process seemed to be unlimited and a cooling in- stallation would soon be in every heat treatment shop. As a rule, the priority of Soviet scientists was acknow- ledged in public by Americans. It is natural that the wide use of sub-zero treatment of steel in America could not but be noticed by Soviet engineers and practical specialists, especially since the problem had been well studied in the country. In the beginning of 1946 most of large machine building plants (for example, ZIS, GAZ, aircraft plants) used the method for a wide range

of parts and tools.

It turned out that the application range of the method was much wider that had been expected by the author in 1937 [2]. Since the cold treatment of high-speed steels had been stud- ied well, it could be expected that it would be applied not only to tools, but also to cemented parts from carbon and al- loy steels.

MARTENSITE TRANSFORMATION

In cooling from the gamma-region which should be so rapid that the eutectoid transformation ofaustenite did not oc- cur, a special transformation begins at a specific temperature which is now known as martensite transformation. In martensite transformation carbon does not segregate from the iron lattice and the iron gamma-lattice transfers into an alpha-lattice. The transformation occurs without the mo- tion of atoms, rather only by displacement of iron atoms to a distance not exceeding the interatomic distances; therefore the transformation can be called a d i ffu s i o n I e s s one. Consequently, martensite is a s o I i d s o I u t i o n o f c a r b o n i n a I p h a - i r o n having the spacings of the lat- tice of the alpha-iron distorted in direct proportion to the carbon content in the solution. The carbon concentration in martensite is equal to that in austenite. The temperature at which martensite begins to be formed (the point Ms ) depends solely on the composition of the in- itial austenite and on the content of carbon and alloying ele- ments in it and in the formed martensite. The beginning of the martensite transformation is charac- terized by the formation of the first portions of martensite "needles." In fact, I established that the existing opinion in which martensite has a needle structure is far from being true.

A martensite "needle" is a plate and has the shape of a needle

only in the plane of the cross section. Ifmartensite formation begins at a temperature at which martensite tempering occurs slowly (i.e., virtually at a temperature below 100~ it turns

out that, isothermally, the process of martensite formation

Cold Treatment of Steel

does not occur, i.e., martensite is formed only in cooling from point M, to point Mr. The amount of martensite formed in cooling is described bythemartensite curve presented in Fig. 1. We can see from the curve that in cooling the transforma- tion begins at M (Ar"), the temperature of which determines that of the beginning of the austenite-to-martensite transfor- marion in the given steel and is called the point of the marten- site transformation 21,/,. As the temperature diminishes, the transformation pro- gresses and the amount of martensite grows. The transforma- tion stops at a temperature t" (the point My). At this tem-

perature a certain amount of austenite is still retained (,4' %). Cooling below the point My does not make the transforma- tion develop further and does not decrease the amount of re- tained austenite. If My lies below normal room temperature,

A -A' % of retained austenite can be transformed in cooling

below 20~ (from 20~ to t" ).

The composition of the steel affects most substantially the temperature points of the martensite transformation. The growth of the carbon content diminishes the points of the be- ginning and end of the martensite transformation increasing, the amount of retained austenite.

For example, foracarbon have

steel

(0.3%

C)we

beginning ofmartensite transformation

 

+ 350~

end ofmartensite transformation

+

200~

amount of retained austenite (at 0~

 

2 - 3%

Forsteel

with

1.17%

C wehave

beginning ofmartensite transformation

"

at- I40~

 

+ 180~

end ofmartensite transformation

- 140~

amount of retained austenite at 0~ "

 

20~

10%

Since in carbon steel having 0.3% C the end ofmartensite transformation lies above 0~ cooling below 0~ does not cause the formation of martensite. In steel having 1.17% C

the point of the end of martensite transformation lies below

- 140~ and cooling to this temperature causes the formation

of martensite which should have a corresponding effect on the properties.

The general law of the influence of carbon on the tem- peratures of the beginning and end of martensite transforma- tion is presented in Fig. 2. Data on the temperature of the be- ginning of martensite transformation and on the effect of carbon on it have been obtained in numerous experiments. Data on the effect of carbon content on the temperature of the end ofmartensite transformation are still quite scarce.

A graphically plotted dependence of the effect of the

composition on the position of martensite points will be

called m artensite diagram.

It follows from the martensite diagram in Fig. 2 that

when the carbon content in the steel is below 0.6%, the range

of the martensite transformation lies above room temperature.

For such steels cold treatment is no good, because cooling be-

low 0~ will not cause the growth of the martensite phase.

Fig. I.

0~

'~

80

70

6o

50

30

21)

10

Martensite curve.

"~

f

I

20 FF

Temperature, ~

451

90O

8ot?

Illll

*

Esser, Eilender and Speckle

700

--~-

*

Weffer and Engel

600 !

*

Hanneman and Wister

Gulyaev 8 Steinberg

v

500'

~

,00K

2oo

0

-I00

-

200

M

1

%

~o

'~

-

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

 

C,%

Fig. 2. Martensite diagram. The temperature of the beginning of martensite transformation depends on the carbon contenL

For steels having over 0.6% carbon the range of the martensite transformation goes to the region of negative tem- peratures and cooling below 0~ will cause the formation of martensite. It can be seen from the martensite curve in Fig. 1 that be- low the point Mf the curve transforms into a horizontal line, i.e., cooling below this temperature does not cause the forma- tion of martensite. Consequently, cooling to the temperature My is necessary and sufficient for cold treatment. A deeper cooling is useless.

EFFECT OF ALLOYING ADDITIVES ON MARTENSITE TRANSFORMATION

The alloying elements dissolved in austenite affect the temperature of martensite transformation. Most of the alloy- ing elements diminish the temperature of the beginning of the transformation.

452

The following data characterize the effect of an additive of 1% alloying element on the temperature of the beginning of martensite transformation in steels containing 0.9-1% carbon [ 11].

Alloying element

Change

in the temperature ofmartensite point

Manganese

- 55~

Vanadium

- 35~

Molybdenum

- 30~

Nickel

-

17~

Chromium

- 15~

Tungsten

- 12~

Copper

- 10~

Silicon

0~

Cobalt

+ 12~

Aluminum

+ 30~

However, the effect of the alloying elements depends on the carbon content. The higher the content of carbon, the more intense the decrease in the temperature of martensite transformation. For example, this can be inferred from the data on the effect of chromium [12]:

Carbon

0.4%

0.8%

1.0%

1.2%

content

in steel

Change

in the marten.site point

1% chromium

when adding

-

-

-

-

4~

10~

17~

25~

The data on the effect of alloying elements on the tem- perature of the end of martensite transformation are still lack- ing, but in accordance with [5] we can consider it possible that with the growth of the content of the alloying elements the martensite point of the end of the transformation should fall more intensely than the point of the beginning of the transformation. Therefore, the more alloying elements which diminish the martensite point are present in the steel, the lower should be the carbon content in it for cold treatment to be expedient, and the more effective should be the cold treatment, because it causes the formation of large amounts of martensite in cooling to a negative temperature.

TRANSFORMATIONS AT SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES IN HIGH-SPEED STEELS

For the first time cold treatment has been applied to tools from high-speed steels [2, 6] and today it is more often used for high-speed steels. It is natural, therefore, that the sub-zero transformations have been studied better for this kind of steel. It should be noted once more that the transformation be- low 0~ does not at all differ from that above 0~ as has been shown in [13]. In a high-speed steel it has the same na- ture as in other steels which has been described in general above. The special feature of transformations in high-speed steels, like in other high-alloy steels, consists in that a change

A.P. Gulyaev

 

300

\

o

200

%

I00

 

18

35

 

o

"

-I00

 

10

I 1

20

24

%

I000

II00

1200

1300

Quenching

temperature,

~

 

Fig. 3.

Position ofmartensite

points (start and finish of the transfolmation)

in

steel R.

in the temperature of heating for quenching causes the disso- lution of carbides in austenite and a change in its composi- tion. Therefore, the temperature of martensite transformation in a high-speed steel depends on that of prior heating or on the quenching temperature. The dependence of the position ofmartensite points at the beginning and at the end of the transformation on the quench- ing temperature for high-speed steel of grade R is presented in Fig. 3 [5]. It can be seen from the diagram that with the growth of the quenching temperature both Ms and Mf diminish and the range of the martensite transformation widens. The numbers in the diagram indicate the amount of re-

tained austenite determined after cooling to + 20~

cooling to -

In quenching from 900~ the marteusite points lie at a temperature below 20~ Consequently, cooling to a tempera- ture below the room one to - 183~ does not cause the trans- formation and the amount of retained austenite does not change either after quenching or after cooling to a negative temperature. Therefore, in this case cold treatment is not ex- pedient in quenching from this temperature. In quenching from a higher temperature the temperature range of marten- site transformation goes to the region of negative tempera- tures. The martensite point of the end of the transformation falls below room temperature and cooling to a negative tem-

perature diminishes the amount of retained austenite. The growth of martensite is the more substantial the higher the quenching temperature. Since the normal quenching tempera- ture for a high-sped steel of this composition corresponds to 1280-1300~ it is obvious that cold treatment after a normal heating for quenching should cause a change in the properties. Cooling to a negative temperature and the growth of martensite in a quenched steel cause an increase in the hard- ness and a change in other mechanical properties, a volume expansion, and a change in the magnetic properties.

and after

183~

Cold Treatment

of Steel

180 I 160 , H 140 120 ~ so ~ , ~ 4o 20 l
180
I
160
,
H
140
120
~
so
~
,
~
4o
20
l
,
,
.
i
I
i
,
+200
-40
-80 -120

Temperature, ~

Fig. 4. Effect of the hold at room temperature on the transformation in cool-

ing steel Kh-12 in liquid oxygen. The hold time is: 1) 2-3 rain; H) 24 h;

/11)60 days.

For example, in [2] the Rockwell hardness of steel R after quenching from 1280~ was 64- 65 (scale C) and the Vi- ckers hardness was 816- 826. After a cold treatment the same steel acquired a Rockwell hardness of 66- 67 and a Vickers hardness of 889- 891. The specific volume changed from 0.11550 cm3/g to 0.11588 - 0.11589 cm3/g [7]. The mechanical properties changed as follows [7]: for steel quenched conventionally and tempered at 565~ for 2.5 h the Rockwell hardness was 65, the proportionality limit

was 195 kg/mm 2, and the ductility was 0.07%. For the same steel treated similarly, but with cooling to a negative tempera- ture after quenching, the Rockwell hardness was 66, the pro- portionality limit was 225 kg/mm 2, and the ductility was

O. 15%. Thus, the cold

cal properties (though some data are contradictory [13]).

treatment improved the set of mechani-

PHENOMENON OF STABILIZATION OF AUSTENITE

The work of Bigeev carried out under the guidance of Shteinberg [3] has shown one interesting fact. If the cooling is conducted continuously from the marten- site point to a temperature below 0~ the martensite transfor- mation develops continuously along with the fall of the tem- perature. If a stop is made at room temperature, the transfor- mation develops again after a certain hysteresis. However, it turns out that the hold of the steel at room temperature not only creates a transformation hysteresis, but also diminishes the susceptibility to subsequent transforma- tion in cooling in the region of negative temperatures. This is illustrated by the martensite curves taken from my work [5] for steel Kh-12 (Fig. 4). Curve I characterizes the martensite transformation at negative temperatures. The low hysteresis is a consequence of the fact that the cooling to the negative temperature was conducted 2 - 3 h after quenching from 1100~ Curve H de-

453

scribes the transformation in cooling to a negative tempera- ture conducted a day after quenching. Here we see a great hysteresis. However, the most important fact is that the curve is less steeply ascending; in this case the amount of marten- site formed at negative temperatures is less. A similar but more pronounced picture characterizes the two-month hold at room temperature.

Consequently, for

the

effect

of

cold

treat-

ment to be the most effective

it

should

be conducted immediately

after

quench-

i n g. It is more effective when cooling to a negative tempera- ture continues the quenching cooling.

The following data taken from [5] show that the amount of austenite retained after a cold treatment is the higher the more time passes between the quenching and the cooling to the negative temperature.

Tune of the hold at room temperature between the quenching and the cooling to a negative temperature (- 183~

Amount ofaustenite retained after cooling to negative temperatures, %

Steel Kh-12

Steel SKh-12

2 - 3 min

24

36.5

24

h

46

54.5

45

days

-

55

60

days

48

It is interesting that the hold at room temperature dimin- ishes the capacity of the austenite to transform but does not affect the temperature at which the transformation finishes. It can be seen from the martensite curves presented in Fig. 4 that whatever the hold time, the temperature of the end of the martensite transformation corresponds to about - 90~ in all the cases. This phenomenon, i.e., the stabilization of austenite at room temperature has been studied in [15]. The study has shown that various grades of steel obey the same laws discov- ered earlier in [3, 5]. Therefore, it can be assumed that the earlier discovered phenomenon of the reduction of the sus- ceptibility of austenite to transformation at a negative tem- perature after a hold at room temperature is a general rule for all steels.

EFFECT OF COLD TREATMENT ON CU'I~ING PROPERTIES OF HIGH-SPEED STEELS

The presence of retained austenite in tools from high- speed steel worsens the cutting properties (due to the low thermal conductivity of the austenite as compared to other structures). Therefore, it seems natural to expect that the cold treatment should improve the cutting properties. However, it should be remembered that the retained austenite can be transformed into martensite by tempering, that is, the differ- ence between the tempered martensite and the quenched one consists in that the secondary martensite obtained in temper- ing is depleted of carbon and alloying elements because of the carbide segregation from the austenite at the tempering temperature which has been established in [16]. It has been established in early research in this direction devoted to the cutting properties of cutters from a high-speed

454

steel [6] that the cutting properties improved when the cutters were used for finish turning. Much data on the efficiency of this method of treatment for improving the cutting properties of high-speed steels was published in the USA. A critical review of various data inevitably shows their similar features. Various regimes of heat treatment are recom- mended for providing what seems to be the best results in im- proving the cutting properties. Data showing the growth of the endurance due to sub-zero treatment are presented, and various sources give a scattering ranging from 40 to 400%. Research at the All-Union Research Tool Institute was made in 1945 by A. A. Badaeva under the guidance of P. P. Grudov [17] in order to establish what actual gain in the cutting properties is provided by cold treatment. For example, the following two variants were compared. Cutters from steel RF-1 quenched from 1280~ were tem- pered three times at 560~ In variant H the cutters were "fro- zen" at - 78~ immediately after quenching (in dry ice). The tests were conducted in semi-roughing (a feed of 0.48 mm at a cutting depth of 2 mm) and in finishing (a feed of 0.15 mm at a cutting depth of I ram). The cold treatment increased the cutting rate by 4% (for semi-roughing turnings) and by 5% (for finishing turnings), which corresponded to a 50% increase in the endurance. The cold treatment after tempering turned out to be inef- fective and did not improve the cutting properties. Therefore, the recommendations of some American journals to conduct sub-zero treatment after tempering (in order to transform the small amount of austenite retained after the tempering) seem inappropriate. The results were compared after a single tempering. The cutters cold treated with a single tempering exhibited a 10% improvement in the cutting capacity (hourly cutting rate) than the cutters tempered once without a cold treatment which cor- responds to an almost triple growth of the endurance. The cold treated and once tempered cutters were equivalent and even better than conventionally treated cutters having under- gone triple tempering. Therefore, a cold treatment of high- speed steel can substitute two tempering operations. A still more important result was that the cutters quenched from an obviously diminished temperature (1240~ instead of 1280~ and cold treated exhibited cut- ting properties equivalent to those of normally quenched cut- ters. This means that the value of the sub-zero treatment does not consist in the improvement of the cutting properties after laboratory tests of the tools, but rather consists in the fact that high-quality tools are obtained despite the deviations from the optimum heat treatment regime (established in a labora- tory) under conditions of an actual plant (insufficient temper- ing, insufficient heating for quenching, etc.). The experience of in aircraft plant (the chief metallurgist is Borzov) deserves a special mention. They have applied cold treatment to cast tools. Cutters from steel RF-1 arrive at the refrigerator immediately after casting into molds. After the casting the Rockwell hardness of the tools is 56, whereas

A.P. Gulyaev

after the cold treatment it increases to 63 - 65. In this case an- nealing and quenching of the cutters are not required, and double tempering is quite enough. By the data of the plant the service life of such tools is quite satisfactory. The manufac- turing cycle of cast cutters is simplified considerably with the use of cold. The cycle consisting of casting- annealing- quenching-tempering is replaced by casting-freezing- tempering, freezing being a much simpler operation than an- nealing and quenching. Thus, the use of the cold solves the problem of cast tools, at least from the standpoint of improv- ing their quality and simplifying the manufacturing process.

COLD TREATMENT CARBURIZING PARTS

Cold treatment of carburizing steels is a recent method but is even more widely used in industry than cold treatment of high-speed steels. In carburizing alloy steels, especially chromium-nickel ones (like 12Kh2N4A or 18KhNVA), the carburized layer af- ter quenching preserves an elevated content of retained austenite which diminishes the Rockwell hardness to 50 - 45 instead of the requisite 60 -62. The phenomenon is encountered very often and attempts have been made to counteract it by decreasing the quenching temperature, using intermediate quenchings, and other me- thods which complicated the heat treatment process, in- creased the deformation of the part, and worsened the proper- ties of the core. Cold treatment eliminates these drawbacks and provides a stable hardness of 60 - 64 Rc . The use of gas carburizing with quenching after an in- terim cooling from the carburizing furnace without cold treat- ment always results in a low hardness due to the high quench- ing temperature and a large content of retained austenite. In this case the cold treatment should be a necessary operation in the heat treatment cycle. Using double quenching, the second quenching being conducted from a relatively low temperature (on the order of 780~ not all the cemented parts exhibit a diminished sur- face hardness. A considerable percentage of rejected parts used are unrecoverable, but today the drawbacks can be eliminated by cold treatment. We see that the use of cold is a normal operation in the technological process of cemented parts from alloy steels. Cold can be used for increasing the hardness of rejected parts to the requisite values. The experience of the Stalin Automo- bile Plant on cold treatment of carburized parts is described in the paper ofA. D. Assonov [18].

COOLING DEVICES

We do not intend to describe the structures used for cool- ing parts; the problem of designing refrigerators for treating metals has not yet been solved fully. The USSR uses various methods for providing sub-zero temperatures, which are listed below.

Cold

Treatment

of Steel

(a) Dry carbonic acid (dry ice) is placed into a wooden

box. The parts to be frozen are placed on top of the ice (the device differs from the boxes used for selling ice-cream only by their size). The temperature is measured by a thermometer. The provided temperature ranges from - 65 to - 75~

(b) Solid carbonic acid is used to cool alcohol or acetone.

The liquids are cooled by throwing pieces of dry ice into them until the ice floats on the surface. This corresponds ex- actly to a temperature of- 78~ The parts to be cooled can be kept in the acetone for a certain time or placed into a ves- sel immersed into the acetone. The amount of dry ice is re- plenished from time to time.

(c) The parts are cooled directly in liquid air, oxygen, or

nitrogen. Here a deeper cooling is obtained (from - 180 to - 190~ which is not needed for many grades of steel. It should be noted that of the three media, only nitrogen is in-

flammable.

(d) A special device with thermal insulation where liquid

air or oxygen circulates over a coil is used for the cooling.

The temperature in the cooler is controlled by the amount of oxygen.

(e) The parts are cooled in ammonia or other refrigerators

initiated by electric current. Depending on the degree of com- pression of the ammonia a temperature ranging from - 30 to

- 120~ can be provided. This device does not require special design and its advantage over the other mentioned methods consists in that the shop does not have to be permanently sup-

plied with dry ice or compressed gas.

SPECIAL FEATURES OF COLD TREATMENT

(1) This kind of treatment is applicable only to quenched

steels in which the point of the end of martensite transforma- tion lies below the shop temperature; for carbon steels having at least 0.6% C and alloy steels with a lower carbon content it can be applied if they contain elements that diminish the points of martensite transformation.

(2) The cooling in cold treatment should be conducted to

the temperature of the end of martensite transformation; a deeper cooling is useless because it does not cause an addi- tional formation of martensite.

(3) A second cooling and a hold in the region of the

martensite transformation is useless because it does not make the transformation fuller.

(4) Cooling to negative temperatures does not cause the

transformation of the whole of austenite. When the whole of the martensite range is passed, some austenite is still pre- served and its content depends on the composition of the steel and the quenching temperature.

(5) Cooling to negative temperatures having the aim of

increasing the amount of martensite should follow immedi- ately after the quenching cooling. A delay diminishes the amount of the formed martensite in cooling below 0~ C, i.e., diminishes the effect of the sub-zero cooling; tempering con- ducted between the quenching and the sub-zero cooling has a similar effect.

455

FIELDS OF APPLICATION OF SUB-ZERO COOLING

At the present time we can name the following fields of application of the new method for treating steel:

(I) for tools from high-speed steel in order to improve

their cutting properties (because the decrease in the amount of retained austenite improves the machinability);

(2) for providing tempering of some high-alloy steels

where a large amount of austenite is retained atter quenching (for example, Kh 12M, I~I-184) and tempering without soften- ing of the primary martensite does not cause transformation of the retained austenite, i.e., the tempering does not provide the requisite high hardness;

(3) for restoring worn calibers, because the sub-zero cool-

ing and the growth of the amount of retained austenite in- crease the sizes;

(4) for accelerating the aging of calibers and other meas-

uring tools. It seems that the changes in the proportion of martensite-to-austenite promote a more rapid transformation of tetragonal martensite into cubic one in aging;

(5) for increasing the hardness of cemented layers and

carburizing alloy steels; especially when quenching from a high temperature results in a large amount of retained austenite which diminishes the hardness below the admissible limit;

(6) for increasing the thermal stability of heat-resistant

steels;

(7) for increasing the hardness of surgical and other in-

struments fabricated from austenite or semi-austenite stain- less steels;

(8) for parts of cooling machines which stabilize their

sizes and prevent transformations in them during operation;

and

(9) for improving the magnetic properties (residual in-

duction) of magnetic steels (EMK5, EMKI 5, etc.). As the cold treatment is introduced into the industry, new and novel areas of its use are discovered.

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Metals,

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