An alternative method for the hardening of steel parts has been developed as a means of providing steel products with superior mechanical properties through development of high residual compressive stresses on the part surface, and involves the application of intensive quenching during heat treatment. This processing method, termed “Intensive Quenching,” imparts high residual compressive stresses on the steel surface, thus allowing for the use of lower alloy steels, reduction or elimination of the need for carburization and shot peening, and providing for more cost-effective heat treating. Intensive quenching also provides additional environmental benefits, as the process uses plain water as the quenching media in contrast to traditional heat treatment practices which typically employ hazardous and environmentally unfriendly quenching oil. This paper presents an overview of the theory and application of intensive quenching, as well as provides experimental and computational data obtained for a variety of steel products. Also presented will be results of computer simulations of temperature, structural and stress/strain conditions for a typical pressure vessel during intensive quenching.

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