This study evaluates the effect of two different quench practices on distortion, sensitivity to quench cracking, development and distribution of residual stress, microstructural uniformity, and hardenability of standardized test castings. Navy C-rings made of AISI 4340 were quenched in this experiment. Some rings were quenched in a conventional draft tube immersion quench bath, and others were quenched in an intensive quench spray system to compare with the results from the conventional immersion quench bath. The rings were measured with a coordinate measuring machine, for distortion and flatness, before and after quenching. Hardness profiles of the quenched rings showed through hardness of 57.0-59.0 HRC, and the microstructures were largely martensitic. DANTE modeling software was used to predict the quenched properties of the rings, simulating microstructural transformation and residual stresses for each quench practice. XRD was used to measure surface residual stress distribution of the quenched rings, and results were compared to the predicted values by the modeling software. The surface residual stress was tensile for the conventional immersion quench and compressive for the intensive spray quench. Crack initiation correlated to areas of large tensile stress concentration and microstructural heterogeneity.


Materials Science and Engineering


Defense Logistics Agency, Grant None

Keywords and Phrases

cos α XRD technique; finite element method; heat transfer coefficient; intensive quenching; quench distortion; surface residual stress

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1544-1024; 1059-9495

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Springer; ASM International, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2023

Included in

Metallurgy Commons