Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Engineering


Heather Kirkvold-McLeod

Robert Prins

Kyle G. Gipson


Material processes, properties, and microstructure are interconnected, often visualized as the points of a triangle. Changing the process a material goes through will in turn change the properties and microstructure of that material. In materials research and education (specifically with metals), comparison between research or experiment results and scholarly-accepted results is important. When reading textbooks addressing different properties of metals and the process of metal treatment, images are often shown of the various microstructures associated with each property or process stage. The difficulty comes in trying to compare the stages or properties to one another; often different materials and processes are used for the various images, making comparison difficult. This project prototyped a process for heat treating and preparing samples for micrographic imaging by taking 13 treatments of one material, A2 steel, a medium alloy air- quenchable tool steel, through the developed heat treatment process at various austenitizing and tempering temperatures, then developed a process for preparing treatments for microscopic imaging. This developed process can be used to image microstructures resulting from the heat treatment process and organize these micrographs in a comparable manner (for the purposes of this project, this organization is labeled ‘Atlas’). The organized micrographs can then be used in further research or for educational purposes. There are many ways this research could develop further, and as a result this project only prototyped the heat treatment and image preparation process, and did not continue to the stage of imaging all the treatments’ microstructures. An initial organization of micrographs into an Atlas was begun, to which further projects and research could later expand.

Included in

Metallurgy Commons



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