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Jerrod Miller

52100 Heat Treat

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I use Kevin C's heat treat. 1475° soak for about 15 minutes, quench in 11 second'ish oil..i broke a 52100 blade in parks 50 not long ago..I get around 66rc out that. temper at around 450° brings it back to around 60rc..

Edited by KYBOY

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Not to wantonly re-open an old thread, but i came across the following old GM patent for heat treating 52100 bearings to remove retained austenite while looking for how to harden some bearing races that i have been working on forging.

 

http://www.google.com/patents/US3131097

 

the general process is austenize at 1800, soak, quench. Austentize at 1575, soak, quench. Soak in sub-zero bath at -100 (dry ice + alcohol?). temper at 400 to 500.

 

This seems like an industrial process and not specifically for our community. But, i am assuming that the 1800 degree soak is to allow the carbides to better go into solution, but this would seriously increase the grain size. Normalizing a few times between the 1800 degree austenize and the 1575 austenize would help this, correct?

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That is pretty cool, thanks for sharing. I was pretty amazed that so much information on why the process was what it was got put into it. As Mr. Mantel describes it, the process does produce a coarser structure, which gets refined a bit (suitably for his purposes/needs, apparently) by the second cycle. The second cycle also re-precipitates some carbides. This happens while it is at 1575. If you do some normalize cycles between his 2 cycles then you will get more precipitates. Your results will certainly vary from his then. Will it be a detrimental change? Probably not, but maybe. Will the benefits of a finer grain outweigh the additional precipitates? Maybe.

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@Jerrod Miller

Where did you end up with this? Did you come up with a good method of heat treat for 52100?

I'm working with some and got my first blade hardened. I'm reading everything I can find about 52100 HT.

My steel is coming from a large bearing.

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My comments above are just basic metallurgy, nothing specific about 52100 (though it is about having a bit of C and Cr in the alloy).  

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Did you get any to harden when working with it?

I only have a charcoal forge but will keep testing pieces until I determine if what I did this weekend is reliable.

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Oh, I see that I mis-read your first question.  Sorry.  I generally stopped playing with 52100 as I didn't have much, and even less time at the forge.  In general I have had really good luck with watching for recalescence and decalescence to get steel to harden, regardless of alloy.  Soaking will mainly just improve on the hardness and potential toughness on alloys that need it.  I did not keep trying stuff to work out optimal soaks and such.  Some day I will likely get back to that, but it will have to wait a few years at least.  

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6 hours ago, Randy Griffin said:

Did you get any to harden when working with it?

I only have a charcoal forge but will keep testing pieces until I determine if what I did this weekend is reliable.

I get good results using Kevin Cashen's recipe, but I got good results by before I had the kiln.

All my sharpest knives are 52100, its a lovely steel.....

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