Metal type for heat treating?

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TomB
Posts: 456
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:49 pm
Location: Southern VT

Metal type for heat treating?

Post by TomB » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:10 am

While reading the descriptions of steel suitable for heat treating in the McMaster Carr catalog I came across a short paragraph on a steel type that turns Black when heat treated. I read the note last spring but can't find it now. But I have discovered that I need to replace the cutter blade in my lopping shears and they have stopped making the part. It has the characteristic black color so I thought I could make a replacement then either heat treat it or have it heat treated. Can someone provide with the elusive 4 digit metal type number?

John Hasler
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:05 pm
Location: Elmwood, Wisconsin

Re: Metal type for heat treating?

Post by John Hasler » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:58 am

The black is usually just a surface finish such as hot oil. It doesn't tell you anything about the type of steel or how it has been processed.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Location: Midwestern United States

Re: Metal type for heat treating?

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:48 pm

TomB wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:10 am
While reading the descriptions of steel suitable for heat treating in the McMaster Carr catalog I came across a short paragraph on a steel type that turns Black when heat treated. I read the note last spring but can't find it now. But I have discovered that I need to replace the cutter blade in my lopping shears and they have stopped making the part. It has the characteristic black color so I thought I could make a replacement then either heat treat it or have it heat treated. Can someone provide with the elusive 4 digit metal type number?
Oil quenching of steel that has been heated to the transformation range will cause blackening of the surface. In itself, as John noted, it tells you nothing about the material.

It is likely the blade is made from a high-carbon steel, which would have been quenched and drawn, or a lower carbon steel that has undergone case hardening. One of the varieties of tool steel could have also be used. Pick yer poison!
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