The Effect of Reheat Treatments on Fatigue and Fracture of Carburized Steels
The effects of austenite grain size on the bending fatigue crack initiation and fatigue performance of gas carburized, modified 4320 steels were studied. The steels were identical in composition except for phosphorus concentration which ranged between 0.005 and 0.031 wt%. Following the carburizing cycle, specimens were subjected to single and triple reheat treatments of 820°C for 30 minutes to refine the austenite grain structure, and oil quenched and tempered at 150°C. Specimens subjected to bending fatigue were characterized by light metallography to determine microstructure and grain size, X-ray analysis for retained austenite and residual stress measurements, and scanning electron microscopy for examination of fatigue crack initiation and propagation. The surface austenite grain size ranged from 15 μm in the as-carburized condition to 6 and 4 μm diameter grain size for the single and triple reheat conditions, respectively.