Austempering Process – Heat Treating Blade Materials
Fisher Barton Blades employs a specialized heat treating process known as austempering to add strength and hardness to all of our lawn mower blades.
Austempering is superior to conventional quench-and-temper methods. Rather than being just a surface treatment, the austempering process produces a uniform physical structure throughout the treated material. Our metallurgical team recognizes austempering as perhaps the finest, most effective heat treating process available.
Conventional quench-and-temper heat treatments produce martensite (BCT), a hard, low density, and very brittle material. Martensite frequently develops quench cracks during its formation, because of its poor ductility at quench temperatures and its rapid shear formation nature. Micro and macro cracks can occur during the martensitic transformation phase.
Our austempering process produces a higher quality material known as bainite. Austempering creates bainite gradually - instead of the near-instantaneous process of creating martensite - and at much higher temperatures. This transformation process eliminates cracking.
Further advantages of mower blades made from bainite:
- Physically stronger
- Harder (between 38-48 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale), without being brittle
- Low distortion rates
- Uniform physical structure
- Superior wear characteristics
- Greater ductility
- Last longer, need sharpening less frequently
Fisher Barton Blades has developed an automated austempering process, which ensures better precision and greater reproducibility than manually controlled heat treating processes, as well as outstanding lot-to-lot uniformity. Our automated system is also far safer for our staff and the environment; the automatic load and unload process significantly reduces human and environmental exposure to the liquids used for austempering.
Contact us to learn more about how our austempering process produces the best, longest lasting lawn mower blades in the industry.