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Quenching is conducted following the austenitizing of a material in order to yield a harder microstructure, such as martensite or lower bainite. Oil is by far the most common quenching medium, but there are three main considerations when deciding how quickly, and in which medium, to quench a material: the hardenability of an alloy, the cross section of the alloy, and any special properties of the alloy.

Part 1

Quenching Systems

Part 2

Quenching Mediums

Part 3

Interrupted Quenching

Part 4

Determining the Right Quench for Your Part

Part 1


While quenching is possible in something as simple as a bucket of water (think popular depictions of Middle Age blacksmiths), today’s sophisticated alloys typically call for more sophisticated quenching methods.
Following treatment in a continuous heat treating furnace, steel parts are often plunged into a large agitated oil bath for relatively rapid rates of cooling. This is one of the most common quench methods used in heat treating.

In this guide, we discuss:

  • The purpose of quenching as part of the heat treating process
  • Various quenching systems and quenching media employed in heat treating
  • The interrupted quenching technique for special processes

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