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What is quenched steel?

October 20, 2023

What is quenched steel?
Quenched steel is steel that has been treated through a quenching process to increase its hardness and wear resistance. Quenching is a metal heat treatment process designed to change the crystal structure of steel to make it harder and more wear-resistant. This process usually includes the following steps:

Heating: First, the steel is heated to a fixed temperature range that depends on the steel's composition and desired properties. Once the proper temperature is reached, hold it for a period of time to ensure that the temperature of the steel is evenly distributed.

Quenching: Quenching is accomplished by rapidly cooling heated steel to room temperature, usually by immersion in water, oil, or other quenching medium. This rapid cooling process causes changes in the steel's crystal structure, thereby increasing its hardness.

Tempering: Quenched steel is very brittle, so it often needs to be tempered to reduce brittleness and increase toughness. During tempering, the steel is reheated to a lower temperature and then cooled under controlled conditions. This process can adjust the hardness and toughness of the steel by adjusting the tempering temperature and duration.

Quenched steel is typically used in applications that require high hardness and wear resistance, such as knives, molds, bearings, gears, cutting tools and other engineering parts. Different types of steel quenching processes can achieve different properties, so manufacturers can choose the appropriate quenching method based on specific needs. The quenching process requires a high degree of skill and experience to ensure that the properties of the steel are accurately controlled.

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