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How can I make carbon steel harder?

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I hear that heating and sudden cooling works, but I'm not a metal worker. Any help? What would a simple forge be consisted of? I'm talking about one that uses only what someone from the 1800s would have usedf (non-electric). I've researched this on the 'Net, but can't find a good answer for a very green novice wannabe forger. Know of any very descriptive links (please post link)? 

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  • 0861788249

    0861788249 2017-01-18 10:07:21

    The forge or smithy is the workplace of a smith or a blacksmith. Forging is the term for shaping metal by plastic deformation. Cold forging is done at low temperatures, while conventional forging is done at high temperatures, which makes metal easier to shape and less likely to fracture. A basic smithy contains a forge, sometimes called a hearth for heating the metals, commonly iron or steel to a temperature where the metal becomes malleable (typically red hot), or to a temperature where work hardening ceases to accumulate, an anvil to lay the metal pieces on while hammering, and a slack tub to rapidly cool, and thus harden, forged metal pieces in. Tools include tongs to hold the hot metal, and hammers to strike the hot metal. Once the final shape has been forged, iron and steel in particular often get some type of heat treatment. This can result in various degrees of hardening or softening depending on the details of the treatment. Both carbon and alloy steels are suitable for case-hardening; typically mild steels are used, with low carbon content, usually less than 0.3% (see plain-carbon steel for more information). These mild steels are not normally hardenable due to the low quantity of carbon, so the surface of the steel is chemically altered to increase the hardenability. Case hardened steel is usually formed by diffusing carbon (carburization), nitrogen (nitridization) and/or boron (boriding) into the outer layer of the steel at high temperature, and then heat treating the surface layer to the desired hardness. The term case hardening is derived from the practicalities of the carburization process itself, which is essentially the same as the ancient process. The steel work piece is placed inside a case packed tight with a carbon-based case hardening compound. This is collectively known as a carburizing pack. The pack is put inside a hot furnace for a variable length of time. Time and temperature determines how deep into the surface the hardening extends. However, the depth of hardening is ultimately limited by the inability of carbon to diffuse deeply into solid steel, and a typical depth of surface hardening with this method is up to 1.5 mm. Other techniques are also used in modern carburizing, such as heating in a carbon rich atmosphere. Small items may be case hardened by repeated heating with a torch and quenching in a carbon rich medium, such as the commercial product Casenite. Surface hardening a process which includes a wide variety of techniques is used to improve the wear resistance of parts without affecting the softer, tough interior of the part. This combination of hard surface and resistance and breakage upon impact is useful in parts such as a cam or ring gear that must have a very hard surface to resist wear, along with a tough interior to resist the impact that occurs during operation. Further, the surface hardening of steels has an advantage over through hardening because less expensive low-carbon and medium-carbon steels can be surface hardened without the problems of distortion and cracking associated with the through hardening of thick sections. The purpose of heat treating plain-carbon steel is to change the mechanical properties of steel, usually ductility, hardness, yield strength, and impact resistance. Note that the electrical and thermal conductivity are slightly altered. As with most strengthening techniques for steel, the modulus of elasticity (Young's modulus) is never affected. Steel has a higher solid solubility for carbon in the austenite phase, therefore all heat treatments, except spheroidizing and process annealing, start by heating to an austenitic phase. The rate at which the steel is cooled through the eutectoid reaction affects the rate at which carbon diffuses out of austenite. Generally speaking, cooling quickly will give a finer pearlite (until the martensite critical temperature is reached) and cooling slowly will give a coarser pearlite. Cooling a hypoeutectoid (less than 0.8 wt% C) steel results in a pearlitic structure with 伪-ferrite at the grain boundaries. If it is hypereutectoid (more than 0.8 wt% C) steel then the structure is full pearlite with small grains of cementite scattered throughout. The relative amounts of constituents are found using the lever rule.

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