ASTM A255 Determining Hardenability of Steel

ASTM A255 is a standardized test method used to assess the hardenability of steel, which refers to its ability to achieve a specific hardness depth during heat treatment. The hardenability of steel is determined by the end-quench test. This test method provides valuable information for material selection, process optimization, and ensuring consistent quality control of steel components. ASTM A255 test method is useful for qualitative characterization, research, development, and specification purposes.


Introduction to ASTM A255

ASTM A255 test method offers a standardized procedure for evaluating the hardenability of steel by the end-quench test, enabling engineers and metallurgists to make informed decisions regarding material selection and heat treatment processes. Hardenability is a critical property of steel that directly affects its mechanical properties and performance in various applications.

This method follows Jominy Hardenability calculation using the chemical ideal diameter (DI) on steel and provides increased accuracy by refinement of the carbon multiplying factors and the correlation of a boron factor (BF) with carbon and alloy content.

ASTM A255 Test Method

A cylindrical steel specimen is machined and ground to specific dimensions according to the standard requirements.  The ASTM A255 test method involves measuring hardenability of steel during heat treatment. The test is conducted in the following steps:

Jominy End-Quench TestThe specimen is heated to a predetermined temperature within the austenitic range for 30 min. and then quickly quenched by spraying water on one end. A thermocouple inserted into a hole drilled axially at the top of the specimen is used to determine the temperatures. The water quenching simulates varying cooling rates experienced during practical heat treatment processes.
Hardenability ProfileAfter quenching, a series of hardness measurements are recorded at specific distances from the quenched end. Based on the obtained hardness measurements, a hardenability profile is created. This profile provides insights into the steel’s ability to be hardened at different depths.

ASTM A255 Specimens

Specimen detailsASTM A255 specifies the use of cylindrical steel specimens for the test.
Specimen dimensionsThe standard recommends using specimens with a diameter of 25.4 mm (1 inch) and a length of 102 mm (4 inches).
Specimen preparationThe specimen is obtained from a representative portion of the steel material being evaluated. 

ASTM A255 Results

The test method ASTM A255 provides hardness measurements along the length of the specimen after the Jominy end-quench test. The data is used to create a hardness profile, illustrating the relationship between hardness values and distance from the quenched end. The hardness profile offers insights into the steel’s hardenability, indicating how the steel alloy responds to varying cooling rates during heat treatment.

Tests Related to ASTM A255

ASTM E8/E8M Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials and ASTM E18 Standard Test Methods for Rockwell Hardness of Metallic Materials are the related standards.


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The turnaround time for astm a255 test methodology depends upon the test procedure mentioned in the standard test document. However, we at MaTestLab understand your research requirements and hence try to get your test completed within the least possible time.

Where can I get the astm a255 tested?

You can share your astm a255 testing requirements with MaTestLab. MaTestLab has a vast network of material testing laboratories, spread across the USA and Canada. We support your all material testing needs ranging from specific astm a255 test to various testing techniques.

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