Aeb-l??

KenH

Well-Known Member
#23
Since AEB-L is primarily a stock removal alloy there should be no need to stress relieve or anneal AEB-L at all. Reading on Sandvik's site for 13C26 (clone of AEB-L) there is never a mention of stress relieving. They actually say not to HT more than once, but not totally sure why that is. I "think" I've read from some of the real experts here that it's ok to HT at least the 2nd time.
 

me2

Well-Known Member
#24
Heat treating again without annealing first can lead to excessive grain growth. The mechanisms that control it on the first hardening cycle are not all there in subsequent hardening cycles. It can be done, but one needs to be very careful and have very good control of temperature.
 
#25
My question was not re-heat treating but rather eliminating stresses caused by rolling at the foundry. They're squeezing this stuff pretty hard...especially if cold rolled. On Alpha Knife Supply they list it as "cold rolled". Even 1018 cold rolled (mild steel) will bow excessively if you cut a bit off one side and not the other also(if there is no stress relief done to it). The tension in the "skin" is greater than the internal/center...relieve one side by cutting and the other side pulls it into a curve...don't know enough about AEB-L to know if this happens with it also?
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
#26
Ted, I've used AEB-L some, made several knives with it and never had a problem with warping. My usual method is to profile the blank, HT (plate quench), then grind post HT. I will make a pass on one side, dunk in water, then a pass on the other side. I think this switching sides helps prevent any stress building on one side that would cause a warp.

Ken
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#27
I will make a pass on one side, dunk in water, then a pass on the other side. I think this switching sides helps prevent any stress building on one side that would cause a warp.

Ken
I also do this on AEB-L when I'm using .070 stock. If you don't, you can easily watch it pull off center to the hot side. I don't have this problem with .110 or thicker.

As to coming from the foundry with stresses, I can't speak to the stresses but I have gotten in a batch where every bar had a pronounced bow in it along the length. AEB-L in its annealed state is very easy to bend and likes to keep it. I had the best luck straightening it after it was cut into blanks because the shorter piece was stiffer and I could better control the flattening process. Trying to take the bow out of a three foot stick was futile. I couldn't get it flat and only introduced more bends until it was nearly a sine wave, LOL. When I'm profiling blanks I will straighten them and they flatten right out. On really thin stuff like .070 I may have to do some straightening several times through the process of profiling and drilling holes. I straighten one last time before heat treat.
 
#28
I'm using A2 now and plan to step to aeb-l next...for cost and stainless vs rust....The heat treats seem similar as far as being careful.

I really like A2 but don't feel like educating the masses on knife care...
 

me2

Well-Known Member
#29
My question was not re-heat treating but rather eliminating stresses caused by rolling at the foundry. They're squeezing this stuff pretty hard...especially if cold rolled. On Alpha Knife Supply they list it as "cold rolled". Even 1018 cold rolled (mild steel) will bow excessively if you cut a bit off one side and not the other also(if there is no stress relief done to it). The tension in the "skin" is greater than the internal/center...relieve one side by cutting and the other side pulls it into a curve...don't know enough about AEB-L to know if this happens with it also?
I was mostly responding to Ken's comment about heat treating twice.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
#31
Well Ted - you're right, nobody every really directly responded to your question about the stresses in AEB-L from cold rolling process. My take on this is it might well have stresses from the process, but they don't really matter because AEB-L is so easy to make straight right after the quench. That stuff is like rubber.... well, maybe not quite like rubber, but it does bend pretty easy direct from plates for the next minute or so. Once you've got it straight and it's "settled" in, then it's stiff as you please and all internal stresses are relieved. Only the stresses you might induce from grinding are a factor then, and by making a pass on one side, then the other side it prevents any real problems with warping.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#33
I give AEB-L two thumbs up. But be aware- it's got some qualities you need to be careful about. The biggest thing that comes to mind is safety. AEB-L grinds very "hairy" for lack of a better term. The chips coming off it collect into clumps that look like steel wool. and the sparks that land in these clumps will ignite it. Usually it's just a smoldering cherry, but it will actually burn. I grind directly into a dust collection funnel. As I'm grinding I often become aware of flashing light and when I look into the tube there are little fires going. I dump handfuls of water from my quench bucket down the pipe. Also, my dust collector inlet goes directly to a water trap which we've talked about.

AEB-L is great stuff. But for all the talk of how similar it is to basic carbon steels, it's also just a little different. Your mileage may vary, but I don't like grinding it before it's been heat treated because it is very gummy and likes to clog belts. I clean my belt constantly with one of those big rubber belt cleaner sticks, but that's even grinding it hard.
 
#34
Neat! I grind after HT....this may change because right now my thickest blade is 1/8 material(i'm a slicer guy...thinner is better imo)...I also use spray mist which is messy and I don't want to make the mess twice. I have to finish out my A2 (christmas knives) and then time for AEB-L!
 
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scott.livesey

Dealer - Purveyor
#37
AEB-L/13C26 was developed for razor blades and cutlery, of course it will take a good edge. if the steel needs such a drastic step as a 12 hour soak, don't you think the steel makers would say so on their webites? if I said I got AEB-L to Rc64 by quenching in goat urine quench during a full moon, will everybody start following goats around and only heat treating once every 28 days? the 12 hours at 1350F was to rescue a blade that had severe warp after first HT not as part of a regular HT
what surprised me the most was cost, AEB-L currently is half the price of A2 or 440C and even less expensive than 80CrV2(this is at AKS)
 

samuraistuart

Well-Known Member
#38
Yeah, we get all of that Scott. Not sure where you're coming from on your post. My comment was simply made because I thought 12 hours was an excessive amount of time to do a sub critical anneal in order to re heat treat the steel without a grain growth problem. But, like I said, DevinT is the guy to ask when you need to "re heat treat" AEBL.

As far as I know, Sandvick nor BU give ANY recommendations on how to RE HEAT TREAT AEBL.
 
#39
"what surprised me the most was cost, AEB-L currently is half the price of A2 or 440C and even less expensive than 80CrV2(this is at AKS)"

Yep....that's a biggie. I thought it would be more than A2.(which you can usually get cheaper from any tool steel supplier than knife steel supplier.)
Since I have come to respect the experience of some of you gents(in most areas of knife making)...I am excited to give it a whirl. I have about 50 A2 blades roughed in and want to finish some and test some but early next year (real early) I want to begin working with AEB-L. It just seems like a good inexpensive steel. I notice though that sometimes it seems in limited supply?
 
#40
John, a couple of quick questions. Justin's post, got me to thinking about Peters process for HT. First question when Peters does a HT on blades doesn't that include tempering? The reason I am asking is because I consider that a part of the HT process. I have never sent anything out to them but, have always heard good input on them!!

Second question on your blades do you do a preliminary bevel grind on them and finish after HT. or do you do all bevel grinding on the blade after HT?? This question arose out of some research I was doing on AEB-L.

I myself have never used AEB-L I mostly use 1080 & 1084. (Off topic) but here is a thread that popped up a while back when I was researching the make-up of 1080 7 1084. Here is a link to that thread.
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/1080-vs-1084.276882/



Now back to the question at hand. Kev, seemed to be asking the same question if I am understanding his post correctly!

Is AEB-L something that can be HTed in shop, or has it got to be sent out?? I did a little research and I am seeing conflicting stories about HTing in shop!! Some are seeming to indicate that the average shop may not be able to HT correctly to get full potential out of the steel!! I am seeing conflicting info on whether it can be HTed in something such as Parks 50. One guy even talks about plate quenching. So now you see why I am asking!!

Kev. not trying to hijack your thread at all, sometimes you have to ask the question before you forget it. :eek: At least at my age!:D
I can't speak to how others do, or do not HT AEB-L, but I do all my own HT in-house and usually come out of temper with a hardness of RC 60-62. I use an purpose built HT oven I built in-house, and do a shallow cyro followed by 2x tempering. I may not be getting everything out of the steel due to my lack of liquid nitrogen cyro, but I've sold a good number of knives made of this steel over the years, and have never had any negative feedback. I use one I ground about 6 years ago as a beater blade around the homestead myself (I hate tree limbs in my face when I mow).
I guess my point is AEB-L can be heat treated in shop, with proper equipment and control, to create a fine blade that will impress the unsuspecting.
 
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