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History of Quenching


kb0fhp

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Hi - I am a newbie. I am a degreed metallurgist with many years practical experience in heat treating, failure analysis and the like. I have been asked by Materials and Process Magazine published by ASM International to write an article on the history of quenching. I have lots of information prior to about 200AD, and lots after about 1850 when people were trying to quantitfy quenching. BUT, I have a real paucity of information from about 200AD to 1850. I have the usual suspects, Pryotechnica and De Re Metallurgica - but I have found little other than this. Can any one help provide some literature and bibliography of good references? I would really appreciate it.

 

BTW, if anyone has any questions regarding heat treating - please feel free to ask - I would be more than Happy to help.

 

Scott MacKenzie, PhD aka KB0FHP

Edited by kb0fhp

D. Scott MacKenzie, PhD

Heat Treating (Aluminum and Steel)

Quenching (Water, Polymer, Oil, Salt and Mar-Tempering)

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Hi.

Check this out:

http://homepages.tscnet.com/omard1/jportac13.html#bkXIIIV

You have to have a great deal of practical experience to sift through the bs to find the gems but if you look, they are there. He is one of the first Western researchers to remark on the difficulties of working true Damascus(wootz) as well as recovery of natural wootz patterns.

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Hi.

Check this out:

http://homepages.tscnet.com/omard1/jportac13.html#bkXIIIV

You have to have a great deal of practical experience to sift through the bs to find the gems but if you look, they are there. He is one of the first Western researchers to remark on the difficulties of working true Damascus(wootz) as well as recovery of natural wootz patterns.

 

Thank you Al - I appreciate it. There are some interesting observations there (along with the BS). The use of salts is very interesting. In modern applications, most of the salts used are Fluorides - typically in 1-5% concentrations. The purpose of these is to raise the Ledenfrost temperature (the onset of nucleate boiling), and defeat the vapor phase.

 

I really appreciate the reference.

 

Scott

D. Scott MacKenzie, PhD

Heat Treating (Aluminum and Steel)

Quenching (Water, Polymer, Oil, Salt and Mar-Tempering)

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well here is a question for you then kb0fhp. I am new to the forum also.

so what is it like being a metallurgist?

I am a certified aircraft mechanic enlisting in the airforce. I plan on retiring there and i want some sort of R&D i was thinking aeronautical engineering but recently afteraquiring several books on metallurgy i have been interested also in metals science and how it all works...

 

so what is the work like and pay location? is it a cubical? sitting in an office? or out running up and down the hotstrip etc.. i love hands on and i want to know EVERYThing there is to know about whatever it is that i am doing. one reason i want to design aircraft.

 

thanks :)

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well here is a question for you then kb0fhp. I am new to the forum also.

so what is it like being a metallurgist?

I am a certified aircraft mechanic enlisting in the airforce. I plan on retiring there and i want some sort of R&D i was thinking aeronautical engineering but recently afteraquiring several books on metallurgy i have been interested also in metals science and how it all works...

 

so what is the work like and pay location? is it a cubical? sitting in an office? or out running up and down the hotstrip etc.. i love hands on and i want to know EVERYThing there is to know about whatever it is that i am doing. one reason i want to design aircraft.

 

thanks :)

 

Well a lot it depends on the type of metallurgy you do.....in my case:

 

I managed a large heat treat shop producing landing gear for the F/A-18 and also was responsible for heat treatment of aluminum sheet metal, forgings and extrustion. I spent 90% of my time on the shop floor. I did this for 13 yrs. While working, I got my MS Metallurgical Engineer, and then transferred to the laboratory, where I started doing failure analysis and support for crash investigations. More time at my desk writing reports, but lots of laboratory time using an SEM, Microscopes, polishing equipment, all that neat stuff. There was also an incredible adreniline rush because we never knew what would fail at any time. At that point it would be a large effort - very concentrated to get the job done right.

 

I was also going to school full-time working on my PhD. Once I got my PhD in Metallurgical Engineering (Microstructure development of thick plate 7XXX aluminum as a function of quench rate and aging), I quit and started working for a much smaller firm that supplies metal working fluids (coolants, quenchants, etc) to industry. In this job I write a lot of practical papers on heat treating and quenching (it you get Heat Treating Progress or Industrial Heating - you have seen some of my articles). I also go to conferences and conventions where I get to play "booth babe". I make lots of presentations to all levels - shop guys to corporate people. It is essentially a marketing position. I travel to heat treaters (captive and commercial) all over the world - from Beijing to Zagreb, making recommendations on process improvements, quenchants, racking, etc. I travel extensively - 1,000,000 seat miles in the past 5 yrs.

 

Pay and location varies. For the midwest, a starting Metallurgical Engineer will start at about $50-60K/yr - higher on the east and west coast. Locations are typically concnetrated in a few areas - aerospace in the midwest around Witchita, KS, and on the West coast in CA and WA. There is also a large concentration of aerospace in Montreal, Quebec. This is mostly aluminum. The automotive heat treating is generally concentrated in locations around the midwest - but not necessarily around Detroit. Substantial amounts are now occuring in China, Mexico and India. The midwest is still a good place for a metallurgist - for the automotive, agicultrural and other applications. The south has a high proportion of bearing applications, with the TX area high in drill pipe applications. Foundaries and Forge shops are all over - mostly in the larger cities in the midwest. There are still a lot of large forge shops in the PA region where they use large (150,000 ton presses and larger)...A lot of closed die work is still done in the MA and CT regions.

 

One trend that has become evident, is that a lot of shops have eliminated their metallurgists and engineering people as "non-value added". The onus falls on the supplier to solve the problems. However, the consulting business is booming because of this - the advent of the Just in Time Metallurgist.

 

If you decide to get a metallurgical engineering degree - watch the school. There are only a few left that still have a metallurgy degree - University of Missouri-Rolla is a good practical school, and there is also Colorado School of Mines. Michigan State and a few others still offer either metallurgy and metallurgical Engineering degrees. Not a lot of people graduate with Met Eng degrees - when I graduated with my BS, only 250 people in the entire US graduated - I think the number is similar now. That number has not substantially changed. BUT, there is usually a strong market for them, with many getting 5-10 job offers when they graduate.

 

I don't regret my decision to become a metallurgist - I have the opportunity to go into a large number of fields - mining, basic metal production, heat treating, forging, and R&D and marketing. Because it is a small field - you will meet many of the people over and over again and it is like a small community. The international community is also excellent - and I have good friends all over the world - China, Japan, US, Europe (especially Germany and France where heat treating is held in high esteem).

 

I hope that answers your questions. I can answer more off-line if you wish.

 

Scott

D. Scott MacKenzie, PhD

Heat Treating (Aluminum and Steel)

Quenching (Water, Polymer, Oil, Salt and Mar-Tempering)

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Welcome Scott, nice to see someone with such depth in the field join our merry gathering. I get and enjoy Industrial Heating though I confess I rarely pay attention to the author, but I will from now on.

 

For those of you who are not familiar with the magazine, it is free and covers the industry from heat treating to equipment. It is an excellent reference for suppliers and has some cutting edge articles.

Don Fogg

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have the book "Old French Ironwork " by Frank ,1950 The bibliography mentions a good book written by the monk Theophilus ~1200 , "Diversarum Artium Schedula " published in Paris 1843 Apparently the monk wanted to document as much info as he could about metalworking including HT. You come across bits and pieces but as far as I know few sources that have extensive information .De Re Metallurgica is nice as it's been published in english , though I don't have a copy..... Mete [Metallurgical engineer (ret'd) ,AC2RC ]

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Thank you Mete - I found a translation of the Divese Arts - he mentions some interesting quenchants.....I believe he is the source for the "urine of a red headed boy quenchant", and "the urine of a goat fed ferns for 3 days...."

 

I found some good chinese texts, which I am hoping to have translated by my counterpart in China...I will let everyone know what I come up with...

 

Thanks

 

Scott

D. Scott MacKenzie, PhD

Heat Treating (Aluminum and Steel)

Quenching (Water, Polymer, Oil, Salt and Mar-Tempering)

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