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topic 7889

Quenching 316L S.S. in Nitrogen?


Q. I have an application for annealing a Investment Cast 316L S.S. component and then water quenching to achieve a hardness of 75-85 hrb.. The supplier is proposing to Quench in Nitrogen.

Please advise if this is acceptable as opposed to Quenching in water?

Joseph Caron
- Paramus, New Jersey


A. Nitrogen quenching is a common practice following annealing of stainless steels, especially for vacuum annealing. The key to the stainless steel quench is to cool the parts rapidly through the temperature range from about 1600F down to below 800F. If the nitrogen quench can accomplish this for your parts within even a few minutes, you should be OK. I would expect a problem only for very large parts. The hardness will not be affected significantly by the cooling rate. The fast cooling is to avoid sensitization and maintain optimum corrosion resistance.

larry hanke
Larry Hanke
Minneapolis, Minnesota

December 19, 2012

Q. Hello, I am looking for information with respect to annealing of 316L and quenching it very fast with Argon. Do you have any information about this topic.

Kind regards

Hub Merx
- Kerkrade, Limburg, Netherlands

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