Akron Steel Treating is a licensee of IQ Technologies' IntensiQuench® technologies.

What is the IntensiQuench® process?

IntensiQuench® is an environmentally friendly, multi-step quenching technique for the heat treatment of steel parts. The first step is very rapid and uniform cooling from the austenitizing temperature, usually in highly agitated water, until optimal compressive stresses are attained in the surface layer of the part. Once optimal compressive surface stresses are attained, the part is removed from the quench, and the final cooling step is done in air or inert gas. In contrast to conventional oil, polymer/water or gas quenching, IntensiQuench® methods provide higher as-quenched hardness, to a deeper level in the part, while maintaining high residual compressive surface stresses, and, at the same time yielding low distortion.

Why does IntensiQuench® work?

Conventional Quenching vs. IntensiQuench®Due to very fast and very uniform cooling in the first step of the IntensiQuench® process, the entire part surface reaches the martensite transformation region at the same time regardless of the part geometry and thickness variation. Therefore, the hardened martensitic structure starts forming in less than a second simultaneously throughout the whole part surface area creating a firm case or shell with high compressive stresses on the part surface.

This compressive case acts as a "die" holding the part and minimizing distortion. After tempering, part toughness and fatigue life are improved over conventional quenching methods. The result is a SupR-STRONG part with little part distortion.

IntensiQuench® Proven Benefits:

  • Increases the depth of hardness
  • Eliminates surface cracking
  • Minimizes part distortion
  • Achieves the same or better metallurgical properties while using lower alloy, less costly steel.
  • Provides an optimum combination of high surface compressive stress; high-strength, wear-resistant quenched layer; and relatively soft but properly strengthened core resulting in longer part life.
  • Uses less costly, environmentally friendly quenchant (usually water), instead of expensive, hazardous oil.
  • Shortens the duration, or fully eliminates, the carburizing cycle with Optimal Hardenability Steels + IQ.
  • Achieves the greater productivity of the quenching equipment due to much faster cooling rate.

IntensiQuench® vs. Oil Quench Parts*

Parameter Improvement with IntensiQuench®
Surface Hardness 5 – 10%
Core Hardness 20 – 50%
Hardened Depth 50 – 600%
Strength 20 – 30%
Toughness 20 – 30%
Residual Surface Stress From tensile to -1,050 MPa compressive
Service Life 30 – 800%

*Proven Improvement Data Validated by Lambda Labs, Deformation Control Technologies, Case Western Reserve University and Neutron Defraction by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and IQT Customers. Call us for the details.

IntensiQuench® Proven Applications:

  • Automotive Parts
  • Heavy Trucks and Off Highway Vehicles
  • Aerospace Parts
  • Mining Equipment
  • Railroad Equipment
  • Agricultural Equipment
  • Weapon Systems
  • Tools & Dies

Read more about how IntensiQuench® works

ASM 1999 Experimental Study of Intensive Quenching of S5 Punches
ASM 2005 Effect of Intensive Quenching on Mechanical Properties of Carbon and Alloy Steels

Additional case studies and white papers can be downloaded from

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