Full Transcript:

What’s up guys? Michael with Michael Talks Metal here back for the 120th time to resume our chat about the Hardenability of an alloy steel with an AI ……. ChatGPT.

If you have not seen last weeks video… click here.

Here’s our questions and as you know, we asked them all at once last week.

All 3 Questions At Once

Today its the same questions but asked one at a time.  Lets see what we get this time.


What is the hardenability of a steel alloy

ChatGPT Response Q1:

The hardenability of a steel alloy refers to the ability of the steel to be hardened throughout its cross-section by heat treatment. It is a measure of how well the steel responds to heat treatment and how deep into the material the hardness can be developed. The hardenability of a steel alloy depends on its chemical composition, microstructure, and thermal treatment and can be measured using techniques such as the Jominy end-quench test.

Hmph…like we saw in the last video we have a short answer to the question but this time it includes a brief statement about what affects hardenability and a method of its measurement.  Since it did not know we were going to ask additional questions, it appears to have added depth to the answer.

OK now


what determines the hardenabilty of a steel alloy

ChatGPT Response Q2: The hardenability of a steel alloy is determined by several factors, including:

Chemical composition: The presence of certain elements such as carbon and alloying elements like chromium, molybdenum, and nickel can affect the hardenability of a steel alloy

Microstructure: The grain size and distribution of the microstructure can influence the hardenability of a steel alloy.
Thermal treatment: The temperature and cooling rate used during heat treatment can affect the hardenability of a steel alloy.
In general, steels with higher carbon content, larger grain size, and slower cooling rates tend to have lower hardenability, while those with lower carbon content, smaller grain size, and faster cooling rates tend to have higher hardenability. 

                                                                                OK… lots to critique here, so lets do this one section by section.

  1. Carbon and alloying element content are the variables in chemical composition that do affect the intrinsic hardenability……strike the “can” in  “can affect”.


  1. This whole section has flaws… with “distribution of the microstructure” the most egregious string. Sounds fancy but gibberish…


  1. A true statement about the process of heat treatment but again not anything to do with the intrinsic hardenability of a steel alloy.

In this closing statement we have a large error…. hardenability increases with carbon content. Chat gets it backwards twice.

Grain size and cooling rate affect the heat treating process but is not a factor in the intrinsic hardenability of an alloy.


how is hardenability measured

Chat GPT Response Q3: The hardenability of a steel alloy is typically measured using the Jominy end-quench test. In this test, a cylindrical sample of the steel is heated and then quenched at one end in water while the other end is allowed to cool slowly to room temperature. The hardness is then measured at various points along the test piece and the results are plotted to give a hardness vs. distance from the quenched end plot. This plot provides a measure of the steel’s hardenability, indicating how deep into the material the hardness has been developed.
Other methods of measuring hardenability include the diameter measurement method and the longitudinal method. These methods are less commonly used than the Jominy end-quench test and provide similar information about the hardenability of a steel alloy.                                                                                                   Slightly different but very similar description of an end quench test when compared to last weeks Q & A.

This answer acknowledges the existence of other measures but does a very poor job of describing them.

Still does not recognize that intrinsic hardenability is most often calculated from the chemical composition.

Today it is much more common to accurately calculate the Jominy profile directly from the chemical composition and that is not mentioned by the AI either way we asked our questions.

Wow, that took a lot of work and knowledge to separate the wheat from the chaff. But if you have enough knowledge to do that, then you probably don’t need to get in this conversation with an AI in the first place.

AI can find information but has some issues in evaluating it and putting all the pieces together….At this point, it’s still to nascent to use this info as fact. You have to have a professional review any metallugical info provided if you intend to try to actually USE some of this information in a real life application. So, that wraps up our chat with ChatGPT. Before we part ways I do need to remind you to CHECK THE SPECS. TWICE. So this is Michael with Michael Talks Metal, still here and haven’t subscribed? Click here. Missed last weeks’ video? Click here. Michlin Metals is a value added distibutor and supplier of all things steel and metal, check the website for more info www.michlinmetals.com. This is Michael with Michael Talks Metal, thanks for watching, see you next Thursday, same time, same place. I’m out!