85 Aldrich Street, Providence, RI 02905

Call Us Toll Free Nationwide: 877-322-5162

Salt Bath Heat Treatment (1000°F to 2300°F)

Molten Salt

Molten salt baths are one of the oldest processes used today in the hardening of high-speed cutting tools.

As old as the technology is, salt still produces the most desirable characteristics in a cutting tool. For example, we produce harder, tougher, finer grained heat-treated cutting tools, with lower levels of retained aus­tenite. Whether your product is T15, M2, or 4140, it gets exactly what it needs without compromise.

Our Process Maintains Part Integrity

There is no need to compromise a tool’s integrity when hardening in molten salt. We work our way up the temperature range on each shift, giving each customer’s work the exact time and temperature, his job requires, to obtain the optimum combination of hardness and toughness to suit his application. Since we can obtain higher hardness in the “as quenched” condition, we don’t have to cut corners in the tempering process to maintain the desired hardness. This also allows us to remove virtually all retained austenite by tempering at the prescribed tempering temperatures. Experienced tool man­ufacturers realize that if a tool is to be coated after heat-treating, too much retained austenite can result in dimensional changes after the part is subjected to the temperatures used in the coating process.

Salt Quenching

The Benefits of Salt Quenching for Alloy Steel

Many of the same benefits derived by heat-treating HSS in molten salts apply to processing tool steel and alloy steel products in salts. For example, increased toughness can be obtained by quenching into salt, rather than oil. Also as important is the fact that a part quenched in salt will experience less distortion than that same part quenched in oil. Salt quenching also reduces the possibility that a tool may crack during the quenching process.

The Advantage of Vertical Loading

When heat-treating in molten salt, we load everything vertically. This helps keep very thin parts, long slender parts, and tubular type product straighter than laying them down in a basket. We harden very thin blades of HSS for several customers. They appreciate the fact that we can give them back flatter parts than they bring to us. Because the parts are still at approximately 1000ºF when they come out of our quench, we can tweak them a bit through press-quenching to help keep them flat. Naturally, this means our customers can buy a thinner material and reduce their grinding, both of which saves them money.

Selective Heat-Treating Capabilities

MSI is able to do combinations of heat-treating procedures. We have some customers who want us to heat-treat their product all over, and either draw back, or increase the hardness of certain areas of the product, (the blades of hand knives, tips, or edges of cutting tools, drawn journals on rolls, drawn shanks on shank type tools, etc.) This is called selective heat-treating.