CPM154. Heat treating

Aikenn

Active Member
Hey all. So recently and finally got a small table top furnace. I want to do so CPM154. Does anyone want to share straight forward process what they might use to process their material. Settings, high temps, times, Tempering, temperatures, times?????? Really appreciate the help.
 

mike miller

KNIFE MAKER
I use a little different temp and times. I do 1450 stress 15 min then ramp to 1975 for 10. Plate cool then into liquid nitrogen as by where from 2 hours to over night. Temper is 400 degrees for two hours twice. Source was Rick Menefee and Phil Wilson. I think Rick does another liquid soak after finish grinding. 60.5 to 61.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
I am almost exactly like Mike on this.

ramp fast as possible to 1440, hold for ten,
ramp fast as possible to 1950, hold for 20
plate quench
Ln Cryo overnight
2x temper 2 hours at 400
RC will be 60.5 - 61.5, usually 61.

It's about the one I have memorized and I use it for almost every stainless.

I use a little different temp and times. I do 1450 stress 15 min then ramp to 1975 for 10. Plate cool then into liquid nitrogen as by where from 2 hours to over night. Temper is 400 degrees for two hours twice. Source was Rick Menefee and Phil Wilson. I think Rick does another liquid soak after finish grinding. 60.5 to 61.
 

mike miller

KNIFE MAKER
I think a lot miss that the heat treat temperature noted in most places is for 1 inch thickness of material. We do 20 or 30 thousandth of material..
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Back when I was using Peters heat treat they told me CPM154 and AEBL got exactly the same recipe. This came up because I was sending in both kinds and asked them if I needed to send them in separately to keep the orders separate. The answer was no- that in fact they could all go through together as a single batch.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Absolutely. Slap it between aluminum blocks and some people just hang in front of cool fan to drop the temperature. John Wilson I do the same thing on both and have both going in oven at same time.
excellent! I'm doing A-2 just hanging with an automotive electric radiator fan...very few warped blades. Want to do some stainless and cmp154 is my preferred steel!
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
Can you air quench cpm 154?
yes.
air quench is supposed to be done in still air but I always used a fan aimed down the length of the blade. Getting the foil off was dodgy at best. Then plate quenching came along and it was a no brained to switch to that. You can also oil quench it in AAA.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Here's what I THINK I have discovered with air cooling...you only need enough air to move the surrounding hot air off the blade. If the fan or air nozzle is too close you are likely to spot cool and induce a warp. i have been systematically backing off my fan with better results.

Can anyone else confirm this?
 

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
Can you air quench cpm 154?
You can, but in industrial settings it is quenched by pumping nitrogen gas into the furnace, cold, so it is a bit faster than that. the slower it goes the more retained austenite you make, that requires more cold to alleviate... or lower austenitizing temps.... i would pop it in the deepfreeze at least, if you cant use liquid nitrogen. it is worth it to do liquid nitrogen, but you can still get it nice, i set the deepfreeze to max, and have some extra frozen flat things in there, that you can clamp the steel in, or just put against, both sides...
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
ramp fast as possible to 1440, hold for ten,
ramp fast as possible to 1950, hold for 20
plate quench
Do ya'll remove from oven while oven is ramping up to 1950/1975F? From the "ramp as fast as possible" it seems like ya'll might be leaving blade in oven?

That is very similar to Hoss (Devin Thomas) suggestion for AEB-L of heating to 1725F, then plate quench, allow to cool as oven ramps to 1975F (if using LN or Dry Ice), then heat and plate quench again. Hoss does recommend blade to be outside oven rather than inside while oven is ramping up.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
You can, but in industrial settings it is quenched by pumping nitrogen gas into the furnace, cold, so it is a bit faster than that. the slower it goes the more retained austenite you make, that requires more cold to alleviate... or lower austenitizing temps.... i would pop it in the deepfreeze at least, if you cant use liquid nitrogen. it is worth it to do liquid nitrogen, but you can still get it nice, i set the deepfreeze to max, and have some extra frozen flat things in there, that you can clamp the steel in, or just put against, both sides...
thanks Andre...I do use LN on my A-2 and will do the same on the stainless.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
Ramping is a just name used for the rate of temper increase or decrease. In most cases you ramp up as fast as the oven can go. In annealing, you often ramp down at a set degrees change per hour, often 100F degrees per hour reduction.
 

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
Do ya'll remove from oven while oven is ramping up to 1950/1975F? From the "ramp as fast as possible" it seems like ya'll might be leaving blade in oven?

That is very similar to Hoss (Devin Thomas) suggestion for AEB-L of heating to 1725F, then plate quench, allow to cool as oven ramps to 1975F (if using LN or Dry Ice), then heat and plate quench again. Hoss does recommend blade to be outside oven rather than inside while oven is ramping up.
i think you misunderstood his directions... he actually said, if you have two ovens, put it in one oven at the lower temp and transfer to other oven at higher temp. If you have one oven, you can ramp between temperatures, leaving the blade in the oven, but if that takes longer than a few minutes, just use the single higher temperature.

Sorry i misread, you are talking about his method to "prequench" aeb-l as a grain refinement method, as per an industry white paper. that is different to what they are talking about here. Here two temperatures are used to decrease the shock in the steel, and shorten the required soak times at higher temperatures.

btw i do use that "pre-quench" method on aebl n690 and D2, the original white paper quoted used D2. It seems to work, but i see no effect with pm steels... BUT when the temp on my thermocouple drifted i had trouble, and it caused more trouble than it was worth...
 
Last edited:

KenH

Well-Known Member
i think you misunderstood his directions... he actually said, if you have two ovens, put it in one oven at the lower temp and transfer to other oven at higher temp. If you have one oven, you can ramp between temperatures, leaving the blade in the oven, but if that takes longer than a few minutes, just use the single higher temperature.
Yep, Hoss's first post in the thread talked about using 2 ovens, which he has. Later in the thread the question was raised how to do the prequench with only one oven. That's where he says to place foil wrapped blade in oven and soak at 1725F, remove blade and quench between aluminum plates allowing blade to cool while oven is ramping to 1975F range. Hoss says this double quench helps remove stress in blade to help with warp, and also as grain refinement.
 
Top