ThePipingMart Blog Metals How Does the Case Harden Mild Steel at Home? An Overview

How Does the Case Harden Mild Steel at Home? An Overview

How Does the Case Harden Mild Steel at Home

Case hardening is a process used to strengthen mild steel by creating a hard exterior layer that increases the durability and wears resistance of the metal. This is an especially useful process for those who work with mild steel in their home shops or garages, as it can make their projects more long-lasting and durable. Here’s a look at how you can case harden mild steel at home.

What You’ll Need

The tools and materials you need to case harden mild steel at home are fairly basic. You will need an oven capable of reaching temperatures of 1600°F, some coal, and some steel wool (do not use regular cloth). In addition, you will need to have access to a grinding wheel and a hammer, as these will come in handy later on in the process.

Case Hardening Process

The first step in case hardening is to heat your piece of mild steel until it reaches a temperature of 1500-1600°F. Then, place it into the coal in your oven and let it sit for about 20 minutes. The coal should turn orange when heated up enough—this indicates that it is ready for use. After 20 minutes have passed, remove the piece from the coal and allow it to cool down naturally before handling it with your hands.

Once cooled down, grind off any excess carbon from the surface of your piece using your grinding wheel. This will reveal the hardened outer layer that has been created during the case-hardening process. Finally, take your hammer and tap around lightly on all sides of the piece to ensure that the hardened layer has been evenly applied across its entire surface area.

After this last step is complete, you’re all set! Your newly case-hardened mild steel is ready for use in whatever project you had planned out for it!


Case hardening is an easy way to increase the strength and durability of mild steel pieces without having to invest too much time or money into them! With just an oven, some coal, some steel wool (or regular cloth), a grinding wheel, and a hammer—you too can give any of your projects an extra boost with this simple but effective method! If done correctly, you can be sure that your project will stay strong no matter what kind of wear or tear comes it’s way!

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