How do you identify your heat treat capability study samples?

ASchmidt

Registered Visitor
#1
I need to do a cap study on 300 consecutive pieces to evaluate growth. Normally I would engrave the numbers on them, because most of our heat treated parts get ground. However this one doesn't, and I don't want to have to scrap 300 parts because they are engraved. Our heat treater can segregate the 300, but can't guarantee that we will get them back in sequential order. Does anyone have another method of identifying parts in an instance like this?
 
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Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#2
I need to do a cap study on 300 consecutive pieces to evaluate growth. Normally I would engrave the numbers on them, because most of our heat treated parts get ground. However this one doesn't, and I don't want to have to scrap 300 parts because they are engraved. Our heat treater can segregate the 300, but can't guarantee that we will get them back in sequential order. Does anyone have another method of identifying parts in an instance like this?
If the samples are being taken by an outside source, you have no guarantees as to sequence in any event, but without at least a rough description of the parts, including size, it's hard to offer any advice.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
I need to do a cap study on 300 consecutive pieces to evaluate growth. Normally I would engrave the numbers on them, because most of our heat treated parts get ground. However this one doesn't, and I don't want to have to scrap 300 parts because they are engraved. Our heat treater can segregate the 300, but can't guarantee that we will get them back in sequential order. Does anyone have another method of identifying parts in an instance like this?
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I always worked closely with my heat treater, often making arrangements to be on site when my batch was scheduled to run to watch the process like a hawk.

(Sometimes, that meant sleeping on a cot in my office until 2:00 am, then driving over two blocks to go in the treater's employee entrance.)

As Jim Wynne writes, much depends on product shape. Depending on various circumstances, parts may be racked or just left flat on a tray.

When we had parts to study that would not be undergoing further processing after heat treating, we used wire collars with numbered tags (our heat treater supplied these, but they are readily obtainable from a variety of sources.)

I don't recall "growth" being an issue as much as problems arising from location within the furnace, style of rack, or warping caused by internal stresses created during machining, relieved during heat treating. We created a "map" of the tray or rack, showing where the numbered pieces were located.
 

Wesley Richardson

Wes R
Trusted Information Resource
#4
Hi ASchmidt,

You did not state what type of heat treating, what material, the temperatures, or the atmosphere/environment.

In addition to the tags attached by wires or the rack position as stated by Wes Bucey, you can also use heat sticks. These are like crayons, but have specific melting temperatures. If you use a stick with a melting temperature above the highest temperature that you use, the markings will still be on the part. You would need to remove the marking by some post-heat treatment process, such as light sanding or sand blasting. Note this method will not work if you use molten salt baths or are doing nitriding or carburizing. In the case of salt, the salt will remove the marking. In the case (get it?) of surface hardening, it will affect the process.

There are many types of heat treating processes. If you have a quench, that may also remove the markings. You may also be able to mark an interior or end surface, depending on your part.

Growth in size is due to either a change in shape due to stress-relieving (Wes Bucey) or oxidizing, carburizing or nitriding. In all of these latter cases, the growth is because of diffusion of atoms into the base material, causing an increase in size. The amount of increase is usually thousandths of an inch or less, and predominantly near the surface. A similar effect can come from physical vapor deposition (PVD) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

Wes R.
 
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