Mechanical Properties of Heat Treated Wrought Steels
The figures in this SAE Information Report illustrate the principle that, regardless of composition, steels of the same cross-sectional hardness produced by tempering after through hardening will have approximately the same longitudinal tensile strength at room temperature.
Figure 1 shows the relation between hardness and longitudinal tensile strength of 0.30 to 0.50% carbon steels in the fully hardened and tempered, as rolled, normalized, and annealed conditions. Figure 2 showing the relation between longitudinal tensile strength and yield strength, and Figure 3 illustrating longitudinal tensile strength versus reduction of area, are typical of steels in the quenched and tempered condition. Figure 3 shows the direct relationship between ductility and hardness and illustrates the fact that the reduction of area decreases as hardness increases, and that, for a given hardness, the reduction of area is generally higher for alloy steels than for plain carbon steels.
It is evident from these curves that steels of the same cross-sectional hardness have about the same strength characteristics, so that any one of several different compositions would yield the same results. For some specific application then, the first thing to be determined is what composition is required to obtain proper hardening in the size section involved. This information is not contained in mechanical property charts, but can be determined from published data or by means of a hardenability test. Methods of making this hardenability test and interpretation of the test results are provided in SAE J406b.