Quenching

Rapid cooling of metal by immersion in quenching fluid.

Quenching is a heat treatment that consists in heating a metal to its austenitizing temperature and then rapidly cooling it. This thermal shock creates martensite, a metastable structure inside the metal that modifies its features, for example increasing its hardness and its mechanical resistance. The material may be cooled in water and polymers, salt water, oil, salt or forced air depending on the customer’s needs.

Very often, to decrease the brittleness of quenched products, the material undergoes Tempering after quench.

Common usages

The quenching treatment is performed to modify the mechanical characteristics of any product made of ferrous alloys.

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Pros
  • Increased hardness.
  • Increased mechanical resistance.
  • Cons
  • Increased brittleness.