Faculty Advisor

Sisson, Richard D.


This research examines the effect of different austenitizing and stress relieving temperatures on the grain size and hardness of martensitic stainless steel. A grade 420 stainless steel with controlled carbon content was examined. Samples were austenitized at four different temperatures ranges from 1800F to 1900F. The samples were quenched with nitrogen gas and stress relieved to a range from 400F to 600F in increments of 50F and held for one hour. Both ASM and ASTM standards were used to measure the hardness and the grain size. The results indicate that the grain size and hardness increase as austenitizing temperature increases. However, the hardness decreases as stress relieving temperature increases at any austenitizing temperature.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2015


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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