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CA-BC Cherry Red surface hardening compound

British Columbia
Type
Product

Goonergord

Member
Hi guys. I'm looking for a Canadian source for the above case hardening powder. It is obviously available from the American manufacturers, but the shipping costs are prohibitive. I have found one supplier in Canada, but there is a $100 purchase minimum.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Looks like Travers sells

and this place
 

Goonergord

Member
Thanks for your rapid response PeterT.
Travers was the company I found with the $100 minimum purchase.
It appears that True North Arms is out of stock.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Re Travers, sheesh and I even knew that (post#18)

Kasenit is apparently similar/same but I didn't have much luck - again Travers.

I think Brownells has improved their ordering & will ship USPS (as opposed to UPS where the dinger fees arise). So you would pay the flat 5$ plus any duty. Not sure if that helps.

Case hardening stuff on Ebay but the prices are nutty.
 

garball

Active Member
I just recently bought the Cherry Red product from Travers . I was very impressed with the final case hardness. I couldn’t even drill through it to cleanup/widen the holes! I tested it up to 55-60 RC on mild steel.
 

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buckbrush

Active Member
I believe Kasenit has been banned for a while. I still have some left, it works well on low carbon steels for me.
 

trlvn

Ultra Member
I just recently bought the Cherry Red product from Travers . I was very impressed with the final case hardness. I couldn’t even drill through it to cleanup/widen the holes! I tested it up to 55-60 RC on mild steel.
Tell us about the process, if you would. Do you have a heat-treat oven? The special metal wrap? Pictures?

Craig
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Just a quick Google where Travers popped up. Says Kasenit says no longer available but Cherry Red is. Not sure if they are different, haven't used either.


Brownells has their own (re?)branded (sorry USA, I didn't see this was an older post)
 

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
I as well would be interested in the process involved...and does it leave "colors" as regular charcoal -bone cook does??

I've use Kasenit many times but not the Cherry Red, although it supposed to be about the same thing. I think (not certain) its a potassium nitriding case process, not a carbon infusion one and I think you need a carbon process to get the colours. Certainly no colours with Kasenit.

You basically heat the part red hot and dunk it in the powder then quench (either while still red hot, or reheat it) You can repeat and the heat and dunk the power to get a deeper case. A cold water quench is good (interior is ductile so no cracking) as a fast quench will give the greatest hardness.

Almost every case process (induction heating of the outer layer of tool steel like a file is an exception, which is also call case hardening) depends the soak time. With these products you're going get a couple of thou case depth. That works for some things, not others. You can get up to a 50 depth with a really long soak which I've done several times, but for those of jobs I find a heat treater willing to take a government job
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
@Mcgyver maybe you can elaborate. It's the quenching aspect that always gave me reservations about the stuff. I assumed the powders were intended for steels of normal (reduced) carbon content, so by artificially forcing carbon into the skin of the object, you ended up with a sufficiently hard outer surface but bulk of interior remains ductile (no carbon penetration). Versus tool steels, which have higher % carbon & other properties, the entire object gets tempered back to essentially same hardness throughout once heat treated.

But (my perceived) downside to surface powders is object must be hot enough to take on the powder, which means risk of potential quench distortion or even cracking depending on the part shape & quench medium & orientation etc. Now unlike tool steels where you might leave allowance for post-grinding, with the powder hardening, presumably you wanted once & done process. Maybe I had certain parts in mind & chickened out or maybe I really never understood the typical applications of the stuff.
 

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
Hi Peter,

Cracking is unlikely as most of the cross is still ductile. With hardening, the quench is critical, won't be hardened otherwise. Similarly you can case hardened parts.

You don't get a grinding allowance, that's for sure. This product's quick and easy and does produce a hard surface, just not very thick. A lot people using it wouldn't have grinders and even if you do, it lets you case harden something very easily. Like I say, it would a lot of bother to do an 18 hour soak in a cyanide bath at home, so a deep case that would give you a grinding allowance isn't easy or convenient.

There are advantages of case hardening like a dead hard skin (no need to temper), ductile core and user much cheaper hunks of mild steel. You call also make it do tricks....for example suppose a tool makers block with threaded holes. You don't want to harden threads. No problem with case hardening. Send it out for long soak to get up to 50 thou case. Don't quench and do a slow cool. It'll be annealed. Now drill and tap all the holes in the annealed material then send it out the quench. Of course only the high carbon skill will hardened, not the threads.

Here's one of a pair of 3x4x4 blocks I did eons ago using the above technique. I couldn't of afford tool steel of that size but CR wasn't too bad, and dead hard is harder than tempered. I put a lot into grinding those, they're with a tenth over six inches square between all planes. I'm using it here to check a square


tool makers block.jpg
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Thanks for info & nice parts. Yes maybe me mentioning cracking was more the extreme of spectrum. For what I was contemplating, distortion from quench would be just as fatal in terms of usability. What I was mulling was say a quarter scale engine crank shaft or cam shaft. Thin, spindly aspect ratio, asymmetrical, lots of vested machining hours... Even entering the quench axially & with proper stir... to me red hot is putting it in the trouble range of potential banana land

I had this notion that the powders were more out of the industrial world; they had inductance type heating to put the high heat input boots to it so proper surface temp but less soak penetration. (vs what we would achieve with a torch). Not to say powders don't have a place in hobby world as they obviously do. But maybe not for what I was considering.
 

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
here's some model engine parts treated with Kasenit, did two rounds, parts for a Perkins hit and miss. None distorted enough to notice so it definitely has its place, but I agree, a crankshaft wouldn't be something I'd not want to quench.


DSCN6344-large.JPG
 

Arbutus

Super User
Premium Member
here's some model engine parts treated with Kasenit, did two rounds, parts for a Perkins hit and miss. None distorted enough to notice so it definitely has its place, but I agree, a crankshaft wouldn't be something I'd not want to quench.


View attachment 26733
Nice work! What is your secret for cleaning up the scale from the Cherry Red?

Don
 

Arbutus

Super User
Premium Member
This small CRS cutter was case hardened in "Cherry Red" compound and pickled, leaving a clean finish without the emery paper.

The brew: 2oz table salt, 1 cup white household vinegar, 1 tablespoon Muriatic acid (HCl 37%)

CRS cutter rough machined

Case hardening68.jpeg

Heat evenly to cherry red 1400F

Case hardening70.jpeg

Dip in "Cherry Red"

Case hardening75.jpeg
Make certain the area to be hardened is completely covered and reheat to cherry red 1400F
Hold this temperature for at least 2 minutes. Longer = Deeper case.
Case hardening76.jpeg
Quench in cold water. Quenching removes the crust.
Case hardening80.jpeg
Temper at 400-500F for 2 minutes
Case hardening81.jpeg
Cool completely. Pickle in the brew, agitating frequently. 2nd image is after 1 minute soak.
Case hardening83.jpeg Case hardening85.jpeg
After 5 minutes, lightly brush with a wire brush. Hardened, cleaned and ready for the diamond wheel.
The whole job took 1 hour and 15 minutes. Quicker than Amazon or a trip to the tool store. ;)
Case hardening86.jpeg Case hardening87.jpeg

Don
 
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