Well-Known Member
Scott I read up a little and it looks like minimum accepted hardness for bearing components is 58HRC and are generally in the 60 to 64HRC which was listed as the optimum hardness for E52100
Now I am merely relating what I thought that I have heard and read over the last few years, but the trick, if you want to call it that, may be how much carbon you put in solution. Bearings like to have lots of that big honking chromium carbides form and give the bearings and races great wear resistance. Not so good for a thin edge of a blade. So you control the amount of carbon in solution by raising or lowering the austenizing temperature. Hopefully, Mr. Cashen will chime in as he has done a lot of research on 52100. Funny, but I recall that the "sure fire recipe" for 52100 circa 2004 or so was austenize at 1550F or so and temper down to 59Rc.