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I Forge Iron

modifying superquench?

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Good afternoon Folks,

I have been using water and transmission fluid and there is a feed store close that has mineral oil. Yes these do work but part of the fun is finding what works best or what will do more than one job well.

From reading superquench is good for mild steel to get that little bit extra from the material ( some say alot extra). It appears to be fast quenching and consistant, nonflammable, saline enough to retard some smelly beasties and inexpensive componants which could be adjusted if desired. Alot to recommend it.

My question is has anyone thought about retarding the cooling rate or is this chemically not possible easily? I do realize that graded quenchant can be purchased like everything else that goes through the shop door. Like tuning the burner you built or admiring the forge you built which could have been purchased, home recipes with a little science are fun and interesting.

Thanks Dave

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The old superquench was lye and water. It was nasty stuff and like other folks, I had a bad experience with it soon after Robb G published the recipe. He realized that risk and developed the salt/Dawn/Simple Green solution, which works just as well and isn't dangerous. However, I don't quite understand why you would want to retard its cooling rate when you have oil available for a slower quench if desired. Plain water is a bit slower than brine but often imparts more stress in a piece of steel because the steam pocket limits thermal transfer. This is the reason superquench is faster and typically gives better results because the brine helps remove the heat and the soaps act as surfactants to break the steam envelope.

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