The paper covers the effect of various heat treatment conditions, with a focus on short-cycle heat treatment, on the mechanical properties (hardness and toughness) of the steels 51CrV4, 74NiCr2 mod. and 100Cr6. To determine this property-relationship, micro-impact samples were heat treated under various conditions in a dilatometer. Afterwards the samples were tested regarding their impact toughness and Vickers hardness. Furthermore, additional investigations of the microstructure (optical), the retained austenite content (XRD) and the fracture behaviour (SEM) were performed. Selected dilatometric measurements on the transformation behaviour ater short austenizing durations completed the investigation program. Tempering at temperatures in the range of 200 °C always provided a favourable property-relationship. While short-cycle heat treatment conditions only lead to a slightly reduced toughness at similar hardness, overheating resulted in a more significant loss in toughness with different severity for the three steel grades. Microstructural investigations provide additional information to explain this behaviour.
- heat treatment
- surface hardening