Evaluation of combined heat treatment techniques of testing hardness and tensile strength of mild carbon steel commonly used in Nigeria
This study investigated effect of combined heat treatment on the hardness and tensile strength of 0.25 - 0.35 grade of medium carbon steel. Heat treatment at 900 °C for four hours was done and six specimens of each were then quenched in water. Results showed that the hardness and tensile strength ranged from 113.7 to 184.4 HB and from 383.84 to 621.2 N/mm2, respectively, for hardening temperature from 700 to 950 °C; and were from 180.2 to 125.5 HB and 594.7 to 4143 N/mm2, respectively, when the steel was quenched from 900 °C for tempering temperatures from 250 to 600 °C. The result of tempering (from 250 to 600 °C) when previously quenched (from 850 °C) steel showed decreasing values of hardness (from 400 to 248 HB) and of tensile strength (from 1320 to 819 N/mm2). The microstructure of the normalized sample was observed to be finer and more homogenized than the one observed in the as-rolled condition of the sample. This invariably led to the higher hardness and tensile strength values recorded.
Keywords: Hardness, Tensile strength, quenching, microstructure, ferrite