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Etching Isothermally Treated Steels

The microstructure of iron-based alloys is very complicated, being influenced by composition, homogeneity, processing, and section size. Microstructures of
coarse-grained steels are much easier to observe than those of fine-grained steels. Of course, steels are normally made with a fine grain size to optimize
their mechanical properties. In general, it is easiest to identify heat treated structures after transformation and before tempering. However, in most applications, hardened steels must be tempered and are usually examined in this condition. If a mixed microstructure of bainite and martensite is formed during quenching, these constituents will become more difficult to identify reliably as the tempering temperature increases toward the lower critical temperature (Ac1).


The articles and presentations that can be down-loaded from this web site are based upon work done by GFV while employed at Bethlehem Steel (1967-1983), Carpenter Technology (1983-1996), Buehler Ltd. (1996-2009) and Struers (2009-Present) and from the authors consulting work for companies such as, Latrobe Steel, Scot Forge, etc., and from his litigation work. GFV's bylined articles appearing in various issues of the ASM Handbook series have been listed here courtesy of ASM International, Materials Park, Ohio.