Oil Quenching

Oil Quenching

Heat treated metal parts perform better. They resist wear and maintain their form while under pressure. An oven heats metal components to extreme temperatures and then submerged in a liquid bath for rapid cooling. Water was the traditional quenching medium.  However, oil quenching produces superior quality.

quenching steel in oil

The Advantages of Oil Quenching

Oil does not boil as quickly as water. This allows the parts to absorb more initial heat and cool for longer periods of time. It is a superior quenching heat treatment, and including certain additives in the oils customize results.

The process begins with heat. Metal parts are placed in an oven. Temperatures can reach as high as 2000 degrees. Once the desired heat has been achieved, the parts are transferred to a submersion tank. The metal is coated in the oils and undergoes three phases of cooling:

  • Vapor Blanket Phase – High heat vaporizes oil forming an insulating cloud around the metal.
  • Nucleate Boiling – Vapors dissipate, and heat energy transfers to the oil from the metal.
  • Convection – The oil is heated to its boiling point and heat energy quickly dissipates.

Ideally, the vapor phase will be as short as possible. The vapors created by the searing hot metals act as an insulator that resists cooling. The prolonged period of nucleate boiling is the key advantage of quenching steel in oil over traditional hardening methods. The longer the parts remain in the second phase of the cooling process, the better the result.

Oil has a much higher boiling point than water. The metals do not reach the convection phase until the oil reaches 450 degrees or more. Metal treated in this way cool rapidly and evenly. This reduces the risks of cracking, distortions, and uneven soft spots.

Our Industry Leading Expertise

At Specialty Steel Treating, we’ve been in the business of heat treating metals for 60 years. We’ve improved metals for manufacturing in the aerospace, automotive, and industrial equipment applications. Our quality control systems are industry leading.

We begin by assessing the profile of your metal components. Different alloys require specific solutions. The initial temperature and the reactions with the oils produce varying results. We monitor and control the precise amount of heat your metal parts receive.

The oils are also important. Additives change the boiling point and phases of quenching. Oils can also leave behind residues that interact with your metals. We optimize our procedures to achieve the best results for every project.

Obtain a Quote for Quench Treatments

Hardening metal parts is an exact process. Your critical components deserve our expertise and superior results. To find out how we can help, contact SST. Describe your project request in the quote form.

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