Microhardness of the microstructural phases of laser hardened steels

Feng Qiu, Veli Kujanpää, Juha Uusitalo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


This study investigated the microhardness and microstructure of different steels hardened by a fibre laser. These samples included rolled steel, quenched and tempered steel, annealed alloyed steel and conventionally through-hardened steel. Microhardness (HV0.01) was measured in martensite, pearlite, ferrite and cementite structures at different depths below the laser-irradiated surface. The microhardness test results were compared with the conventional macrohardness (HV5) results. Increase of carbon content caused higher microhardness of martensite, although this influence was weaker than the effect on macrohardness. The grain size of rolled ferritic-pearlitic steels had distinct effect on surface microhardness. The macrohardness of quenched and tempered steel might be markedly influenced by the homogeneity of alloy contents. In-grain indentation showed that cementite is around 150 HV harder than pearlite. High Cr content may increase the microhardness on the surface and up to a depth of about 0.6 mm. Soft annealed alloyed steels achieved high surface hardness but poor hardened depth despite high alloy content. Dispersed granular pearlite did not affect the microhardness of soft annealed steel. The macrohardness of the base material was close to the microhardness of the softer phase structure. The measured microhardness was about 100-250 HV higher than the macrohardness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 14th NOLAMP Conference
Subtitle of host publicationThe 14th Nordic Laser Materials Processing Conference
EditorsAlexander Kaplan, Hans Engström
Place of PublicationLuleå
PublisherLuleå University of Technology
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-7439-689-8
ISBN (Print)978-91-7439-688-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event14th Nordic Laser Materials Processing Conference, NOLAMP 14 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 26 Aug 201328 Aug 2013
Conference number: 14


Conference14th Nordic Laser Materials Processing Conference, NOLAMP 14
Abbreviated titleNOLAMP 14


  • steel
  • laser
  • hardening
  • microhardness
  • grain size
  • microstructure


Dive into the research topics of 'Microhardness of the microstructural phases of laser hardened steels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this