Polymer Quench & Temper
Polymer quenching provides a hardening heat treatment for steel forgings. Polymer quenching can be utilised with excellent results on plain carbon and alloy steels that require superior depth of hardness and uniform, repeatable mechanical properties.
What are the applications and benefits?
Polymer quench hardens certain steel s to the absolute maximum potential and after tempering, delivering a combination of good mechanical properties and impact values at low temperatures coupled with very stringent hardness specifications. Polymer quenching is particularly useful for high alloy materials and components. (such as high integrity alloy steel forgings). The more alloyed the material is, the more susceptible to cracking or distortion on quenching. Different alloys require different cooling rates and therefore a more controlled quench is required. Polymer quench is used to significantly reduce the risk of cracking and distortion. By varying the concentration and temperature of the polymer solution, a varied amount of quench speeds can be achieved.
How does the process work?
The treated material is transferred rapidly from furnace to quench in approximately 45 seconds. Immersion of the component in the quenchant happens quickly, at a rate of 2 feet per second. Highly agitated polymer, above and below the load, is consistent down the full length of the tank, enabling very high heat transfer rate into the polymer. Continuous oscillation of the cradle ensures that components are always in motion relative to the polymer preventing impingement of water jetting. In combination, these techniques enable us to surpass the performance of other heat treatment facilities.
The high volume of polymer available to transfer heat into results in a rise in polymer temperature of 4°c per tonne of steel quenched from 950°c. Polymer temperature maintained between 30°c and 80°c through a thermostatically controlled cooling system.
Polymer is equivalent to either an oil or accelerated oil quench which is influenced by factors such as dilution and quenchant temperature. Checks are carried out daily to ensure the components get the correct quench. Con Mech also works very closely with the polymer quench manufacturer to ensure it is optimum.
Which materials can be treated?
Typical steels treated include: AISI 8630, EN19, EN24, AISI 4140, AISI 4340, AISI 4145, 708M40, 715M40, 817M40, SK15B, SK15C.
How can Con Mech Engineers help?
At Con Mech all aspects of the Polymer Quench process have been closely analysed and developed to achieve the most consistent quench characteristics. We believe that the most critical part of steel’s life cycle is the vital minutes of the quench process. We tightly control all parameters of the polymer quenching process; temperature, concentration and agitation, to reliably achieve the mechanical properties required.