Marquench Hardening for Machined Parts & Stampings

ThermTech is proud to offer marquenching for machined parts & stampings. This process is usually used for higher alloy grades of steel that are prone to excessive distortion or cracking.

Rather than quenching in lower temperature oil or polymer, components are quenched in hot molten salt, which greatly reduces the risk of distortion and cracking while still providing an equivalent microstructure on many part types.


ThermTech has 2 primary ways of performing marquench hardening for machined steel parts:

1.) Furnace-to-Salt

The first is an atmosphere furnace-to-salt operation where parts are heated (austenitized) in a batch atmosphere furnace from 1500-1600°F.

Then the parts are automatically transferred to the molten salt quench, which is set anywhere from 375°F to 500°F depending on steel grade.

After a subsequent cool to near ambient temperature, parts are tempered down to the specified hardness range. The maximum capacity for this operation is 36”W x 72”L x 48”H with maximum weight of 7000 lbs.

2.) Salt-to-Salt

The second marquench hardening method we employ is a salt-to-salt process in which parts are austenitized in a high-heat salt bath, then transferred into another lower temperature bath for the quench.

This process can be even more beneficial for products with distortion issues since parts spend less time at the high heat temperature.


ThermTech offers the marquench hardening processes for many alloy grades, and not necessarily just higher alloy steels. 

Most commonly, marquench processes are performed on the following steel grades:

  • 52100
  • 4140
  • 4340
  • 5160
  • 1095

The maximum dimensions for our salt-to-salt process are 20”OD x 30”H.

ThermTech also has a fully automated salt-to-salt line capable of high production rates for large quantities of machined parts. This line is capable of performing marquenching or austempering processes. For more information on this automated furnace line, please see our technical brochure.

The maximum capacity for furnace-to-salt process is 36”W x 72”L x 48”H with maximum weight of 7000 lbs.


Please note that once the materials reach a certain thickness, equivalent core properties to oil or polymer quenching may no longer be achievable with marquench hardening, as the thermal driving force to provide adequate quench rates in the core of thicker parts is less during the high heat salt quench used in marquenching.

The marquench process tends to be used most commonly for thin-walled materials or those made from high carbon and/or high alloy grades that are prone to cracking in any liquid quenchant process. If the parts in question have heavier sections that require core properties, oil quenching or polymer quenching may be required to meet the specification.

For components that are extremely prone to distortion or cracking, an austempering process may be the best option. The austempering process is also ideal for producing superior ductility properties in parts of all geometries.

Contact ThermTech today to discuss the benefits of marquench hardening for your machined parts or stampings!