Austempering is a heat treatment that produces a ductile, stable bainitic structure in steel applications. The treatment is done in two steps: first heat into the austenite phase and then quench to a temperature level so that the austenite is transformed into bainite instead of martensite. Bainite is tougher than martensite.
Austempering is used in a wide variety of applications in the automotive, rail, and heavy-engineering industries: applications include gears, shafts, crankshafts, camshafts, clutch plates, seat belt components, drive shafts, rollers, rocker arms, and many others.
Austempering benefits ferrous metals, particularly ductile irons and medium- to high-carbon steels including: