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Thread: Case hardening compound receipe

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    atlantis is offline Plastic
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    Default Case hardening compound receipe

    I'm interested in trying case hardening but cannot get Kasenit or Cherry Red or any other specific case hardening compound (living overseas).

    In a how-to I found this receipe:

    13 parts hardwood charcoal (barbecue charcoal)
    3 parts barium carbonate
    2 parts sodium carbonate
    1 part calcium carbonate

    It does not mention if parts are measured by volume or by weight but at least these are all fairly easy to obtain substances. However said document described this mixture for use as a pack carburizing compound, they packed the pieces to be hardenend and this mixture in a box and heated it for several hours.

    For convenience I would rather use the torch method; use a torch to heat the part to cherry red color and then dip it in the compound. Is this mixture suitable for this method also or is it not worth bothering?

    Regards
    Martin

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    thermite is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by atlantis View Post
    I'm interested in trying case hardening but cannot get Kasenit or Cherry Red or any other specific case hardening compound (living overseas).

    In a how-to I found this receipe:

    13 parts hardwood charcoal (barbecue charcoal)
    3 parts barium carbonate
    2 parts sodium carbonate
    1 part calcium carbonate

    It does not mention if parts are measured by volume or by weight but at least these are all fairly easy to obtain substances. However said document described this mixture for use as a pack carburizing compound, they packed the pieces to be hardenend and this mixture in a box and heated it for several hours.

    For convenience I would rather use the torch method; use a torch to heat the part to cherry red color and then dip it in the compound. Is this mixture suitable for this method also or is it not worth bothering?

    Regards
    Martin
    Kasenit, as formulated in the late '50's / early '60's could be used either way.

    No idea if that changed or if it was at all close to the above formulation.

    Measure is by weight, not volume, FWIW.

    But check this out - the address is in UK but 'seems' to ship to 'mainland' .. which included CH last time Iooked .. if CH permits the importation:

    http://www.ebay.ch/itm/1-KG-Case-Har...-/370232975495

    Or sweep a 50 Km circle off Kloten and there must be someone left still using similar stuff.

    Bill

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    atlantis is offline Plastic
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    Thanks Bill, I'm aware that there's Chronos and I think also another seller in the UK, but including the postage it just gets pretty expensive (they charge quite a lot for the compound itself).

    I'll continue to have an eye open. As with many other products I guess the problem is not that they're banned or restricted in our country but that there's just not enough demand for it to make it profitable to sell over the counter.

    Regards
    Martin

    BTW: You seem to know Switzerland a bit ;-)

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    <jbc>'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atlantis View Post
    As with many other products I guess the problem is not that they're banned or restricted in our country but that there's just not enough demand for it to make it profitable to sell over the counter.
    Hi Martin.

    Its not that you can't get stuff in CH, as much as it is that industrial suppliers will not sell to you if you are not a company. Do you have a Handelsregister Eintrag? Having one will open a huge number of doors.

    MfG
    <jbc> in Roggwil

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    thermite is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by atlantis View Post
    Thanks Bill, I'm aware that there's Chronos and I think also another seller in the UK, but including the postage it just gets pretty expensive (they charge quite a lot for the compound itself).

    I'll continue to have an eye open. As with many other products I guess the problem is not that they're banned or restricted in our country but that there's just not enough demand for it to make it profitable to sell over the counter.

    Regards
    Martin

    BTW: You seem to know Switzerland a bit ;-)
    Customers, suppliers, friends, business and pleasure travel, and a long, long affinity to the federal structure. And the road net. Rat-racing Les Diablerets as a much younger man..

    Though I've spent far more time in Kantons Zug and Zurich or in and around Brienz, Rinngen, Interlaken, and environs, had it not been for one Bernard Evers, I'd be living in Campione D' Italia maybe, the Ticino, certainly. Language is easier for me there, as I never learned to honk SD well.

    ;-)

    Bill

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    RifledAir is offline Plastic
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    one of the principal ingredients in Kasenite is potassium cyanide.

    This is used as a bleach in B&W fine art photography so if you have any photographers supply stores that would be the place to check.

    My machinist teacher in high school made his own out of bone charcoal and potassium cyanide.

    Obviously you need to use the same precautions in use as you would with Kasenite

    Also if you make the charcoal from peach pits they are a source of potassium cyanide

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    thermite is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by RifledAir View Post
    one of the principal ingredients in Kasenite is potassium cyanide.

    This is used as a bleach in B&W fine art photography so if you have any photographers supply stores that would be the place to check.
    Jewelry manufacturing uses it also - in large canisters of 'eggs' that merit extreme care in storage and handling, given the usual presence of acid baths in such shops.

    Doubt it is at all easy for 'strangers' to order, though, more especially in 'these times'.

    Bill

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    tdmidget is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by RifledAir View Post
    one of the principal ingredients in Kasenite is potassium cyanide.

    This is used as a bleach in B&W fine art photography so if you have any photographers supply stores that would be the place to check.

    My machinist teacher in high school made his own out of bone charcoal and potassium cyanide.

    Obviously you need to use the same precautions in use as you would with Kasenite

    Also if you make the charcoal from peach pits they are a source of potassium cyanide
    Not potassium cyanide. It's potassium Ferrocyanide. Quite different. MSDS below:
    http://hazard.com/msds/f2/brq/brqbk.html
    Mark Rand likes this.

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    CalG is offline Titanium
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    I don't know about this recipe, I have the Cherry red product. But..

    the best thing that has ever happened to pack case hardening is 4 or five small fire bricks to make a muffle.

    The parts to be hardened are put in a suitable tin, and covered with compound, the tin then sealed except for a small pressure relief hole ;-)

    The tin placed in the arrangement of fire brick, and soaked cherry red for as long as you care to hold the torch.

    If everything is arranged before hand, the part can be spilled out into water or oil to quench if that's what is wanted.

    Just saying, the bricks hold the heat, and save on gas ;-) do what you want.

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    TDegenhart is offline Stainless
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    As most of you know, case hardening is time dependent. For any measurable amount of depth, the part has to be held at temperature (>1550F).

    This is from Case Hardening Steel : Pack, Carbonnitriding and salt surface hardening

    Carbonnitriding starting with low carbon steel (SAE 1008):

    1 hour @ 1425 to 1450F results in a case .004" deep.
    2 hours @ 1425 to 1450F results in a case .006" deep.
    3 hours @ 1425 to 1450F results in a case .009" deep.
    4 hours @ 1425 to 1450F results in a case .011" deep.

    1 hour @ 1600 to 1625F results in a case .015" deep.
    2 hours @ 1600 to 1625F results in a case .021" deep.
    3 hours @ 1600 to 1625F results in a case .026" deep.
    4 hours @ 1600 to 1625F results in a case .030" deep.

    Heat Treaters Guide, 1982, ASM, p.25 chart (referenceing Metals Handbook 8th ed., Vol 2, ASM.

    Tom

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    RifledAir is offline Plastic
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    Not potassium cyanide. It's potassium Ferrocyanide. Quite different. MSDS below:
    http://hazard.com/msds/f2/brq/brqbk.html
    Right you are Potassium ferrocyanide is also the product that can be had from kodak etc as farmers reducer used in the B&W industry

    Potassium cyanide when used as a case hardening will give decent colour case hardening

    All in all both are used as a case hardening agent

    From wiki
    Small items may be case hardened by repeated heating with a torch and quenching in a carbon rich medium, such as the commercial products Kasenit /Casenite or "Cherry Red". Older formulations of these compounds contain potentially toxic cyanide compounds, such as ferrocyanide compounds, while the more recent types such as Cherry Red do not.[2][3]
    Cyaniding

    Cyaniding is a case hardening process that is fast and efficient; it is mainly used on low carbon steels. The part is heated to 871-954 C (1600-1750 F) in a bath of sodium cyanideand then is quenched and rinsed, in water or oil, to remove any residual cyanide.
    2NaCN + O2 → 2NaCNO2NaCNO + O2 → Na2CO3 +CO + N22CO → CO2 + CThis process produces a thin, hard shell (between 0.25 - 0.75 mm, 0.01 and 0.03 inches) that is harder than the one produced by carburizing, and can be completed in 20 to 30 minutes compared to several hours so the parts have less opportunity to become distorted. It is typically used on small parts such as bolts, nuts, screws and small gears. The major drawback of cyaniding is that cyanide salts are poisonous.

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    One of Guy Lataurd's Machinists Bedside Readers has a formula in it and instructions. My copies are at home, so I cant tell you which one.

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    Alpacca Fortyfive is offline Stainless
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    The barium carbonate recipe requires a sealed container.
    Barium carbonate decomposes around the correct temperature for case hardening, releasing carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide reacts with the charcoal, giving carbon monoxide which carburizes the metal, the resulting carbon dioxide then reacts with more charcoal and the process repeats.

    If it is not closed in, the carbon dioxide and monoxide gasses just leak away.

    You may have more trouble getting hold of barium carbonate, than getting hold of a ferro-cyanide.

    Despite their name, Ferrocyanides are not particularly toxic, they even get used in food products.

    Barium carbonate is toxic, it's a neuro toxin, and causes severe muscle and stomach cramps. The LD 50 (dose for 50% chance of death) for adult humans is about 4 grams.

    Although it has no taste, it wouldn't be much use to a poisoner - it would show up on an x-ray as a "barium meal" (the sulphate, used for medical barium meals is only just to say sufficiently insoluble to avoid giving ill effects - there isn't much in it).

    Barium Carbonate (witherite) used to be mined in northern England. Most places, it's a mineralogical curiosity, In northern England, there were veins of almost pure barium carbonate. Small amounts were used locally as rat poison, and there are local tales of mine ponies and other animals being accidentally poisoned.

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    bsstan is offline Aluminum
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    Where can you find the chemicals, in rural USA?

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    J. Randall is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpacca Fortyfive View Post
    The barium carbonate recipe requires a sealed container.
    Barium carbonate decomposes around the correct temperature for case hardening, releasing carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide reacts with the charcoal, giving carbon monoxide which carburizes the metal, the resulting carbon dioxide then reacts with more charcoal and the process repeats.

    If it is not closed in, the carbon dioxide and monoxide gasses just leak away.



    You may have more trouble getting hold of barium carbonate, than getting hold of a ferro-cyanide.

    Despite their name, Ferrocyanides are not particularly toxic, they even get used in food products.

    Barium carbonate is toxic, it's a neuro toxin, and causes severe muscle and stomach cramps. The LD 50 (dose for 50% chance of death) for adult humans is about 4 grams.

    Although it has no taste, it wouldn't be much use to a poisoner - it would show up on an x-ray as a "barium meal" (the sulphate, used for medical barium meals is only just to say sufficiently insoluble to avoid giving ill effects - there isn't much in it).

    Barium Carbonate (witherite) used to be mined in northern England. Most places, it's a mineralogical curiosity, In northern England, there were veins of almost pure barium carbonate. Small amounts were used locally as rat poison, and there are local tales of mine ponies and other animals being accidentally poisoned.
    Talking about the medical Barium, I had a Dr. after looking at an exray of my colon ask if I had been shot in the stomach, after telling him no he deduced that it was the remains of a Barium enema set up in pockets in my gut, he said I would have them for life, but would probably not cause me any problems.
    James

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    Bruce Nelson is offline Stainless
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    When I was teaching in a technical college, I used to make projects out of mild steel and case harden them by making a steel box with a lid that could be sealed and burying the workpieces in bone meal. I put them in a gas furnace at 1550 degrees for four hours. Bone meal gives off a lot of gas until it becomes charcoal. I would expect the steel being at 1550 degrees makes it permeable, enabling it to absorb carbon from the gasses from the bone meal. This method was produced very satisfactory results, quenched in cold water. You can get bone meal from any farm store, it is used as a supplement in animal feed.

    Lord Byron

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    Aquarium charcoal is another excellent hardening compound,found at pet stores. It,and bone meal,will both give deeper hardening than Kasenite when used in closed containers. I have personally used these things and can vouch for them.

    When I was Toolmaker,I made some parts,such as forked centers for the treadle lathe at the Geddy Foundry in Williamsburg. Just used mild steel. We put the parts in a graphite crucible with bone meal with a heavy lid into the forge. I also put in some 4" long nails. Once in a while,I'd pull out a nail and break it off in a vise to see how deep the case was. After a few hours,it was a good 1/32",so I removed the parts and quenched them,then tempered them to a medium straw.

    I don't know why aquarium charcoal is considered better than regular charcoal,but our gunsmith's shop used it and bone meal. It was reputedly made from the bones of laboratory monkeys,but they didn't let the public know that. It could have been the porosity. Not sure if they still use monkey bone.

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    willbird is offline Banned
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    Reading on a BBQ forum one poster said to buy charcoal local to where he was overseas the stuff sold for use in Hookah's was very high quality, and cheaper than most any other source.

    Looking on amazon here in the US the hookah charcoal is quite expensive.

    The aquarium stuff is usually CARBON not "charcoal", with the carbon being a more refined form ?

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    For small parts, only a torch with Acetylene (C2H2) and oxygen (O2) for fuel can give good results.
    Run the flame fuel rich (with a long white cone) the flame is not as hot as it is normally adjusted, but heats slower and does not seem to burn sharp corners in the part.
    With white hot carbon in the flame as the source of the carbon will give the steel a nice case when quenched in water.

    Bill

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