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Heat Treatment: 4340 Steel



I am an undergraduate engineer, and I'm doing a Thesis on Heat Treatment of 4340 steel. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I am looking for research papers and research material for the heat treating process for 4340. I have the SAE Aerospace Material Specs , but I'm looking for a bit more depth. I have tried Asking my Thesis Advisor, but he is useless to me cause he doesn't speak much English and I don't speak Japanese. I realise that you have more important things at hand than helping an undergrad out, and I would appreciate any of your professional insight or direction.

Thank you for your time.

Jamal Peshman
University Of Toronto (eng sci) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Hello Jamal!

There has been a LOT of work done on 4340, much of it in the 1940's and 1950's. Those references would be found in Transactions of the AIME, the journal that predated Metallurgical Transactions, and likely won't reference "4340" in the title of the article, making a computer search more difficult. The title would likely say "chromium-nickel" or "chromium-nickel-molybdenum" steel.

I presume that it is AMS2759/1 and /2 that you have, and while they are fine lists of heat treat requirements, I'd have to agree they don't get into "why", nor really into "what the problem is if it is done wrong". Another good reference should your library have it is ASM's Heat Treater's Guide, which shows some microstructural photos in addition to the recommended treatments.

I'm also curious about what you can research on 4340 that hasn't already been done, in one way or another. Even after 25 years in the field, I'm amazed at how much is known, and is constantly being re-discovered.

Good luck, and let me know how you're doing!

Lee Gearhart
East Aurora, New York


Has anybody tried to pressure quench thick cross sections of 4340 round bar?

Jim Heaviside
aerospace - USA

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