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anvilfire.com  Steel Temper Colors

Plain Carbon Steel Only - Hardness Rockwell C

English Color Text Fahrenheit  Color  Celsius SAE
1040
SAE
1050
SAE
1070
SAE
1095
Clear - As fully hardened 100°   38° 54 59 64 67
Pale yellow 2 420°   216° 51 55 59 63
Very pale yellow 1 430°   221°        
Light yellow 1, 2, Straw 3 440°   227°        
Pale straw-yellow 1, Straw 3 450°   232° 50 54    
Straw-yellow 1, 2 460°   238°       62
Deep straw-yellow 1, 3 470°   243°        
Dark yellow 1, Light orange 3 480°   249°     58  
Yellow-brown 1, Orange 3 490°   254° 49 53   61
Brown-yellow 1, 3, Bronze 2 500°   260°        
Spotted red-brown 1, Dark Brown 2 510°   266°        
Brown with purple spots 1, 2 520°   271°   52 57  
Light purple 1, 2, Purple 3 530°   277° 48     60
Full purple 1, Purple 2 540°   282°        
Dark purple 1 550°   288°        
Full blue 1, 3 560°   293° 47 51 56 59
Dark blue 1, Blue 2 570°   299°        
Dark blue 2 590°   310°       58
Pale blue 3   46 50 55  
Light blue 2 610°   321°        
Greenish blue 2, Grey 3 630°   332° 45   54 57
Light blue 1 640°   338°        
Steel grey 2 650°   343° 44 47 53 56
Steel grey 700°   371° 42 46 51 54
750°   400° 40 44 50 52
800°   427° 38 42 47 49
900°   482° 35 37 43 44
Lowest visible red 1000°   538° 30 32 36 39
English Colour Text Fahrenheit  Colour  Celsius SAE
1040
SAE
1050
SAE
1070
SAE
1095
Converted temps. rounded to nearest degree.   Hardness +/- 1Rc @ +/-5°F of published data.
Colors represented here are approximations and at best require a millions of color computer monitor adjusted correctly to view them. The colors as represented do not show the metallic luminosity of the bright steel surface on which the colors are transparently overlaid. For true colors a sample should be made of polished steel. Printed the colors above may or may not print as they are HTML "background".


1 Machinery's Handbook, 18th Edition, 1970, Industrial Press (Color text the same from 5th to 20th Editions with exception of the addition of Light blue at 640°F)

2 Edge of the Anvil, Jack Andrews, 1977, Skipjack Press.

3 Metals for Engineering Craftsman, C.O.S.I.R.A., London England. Temperatures given at tens and fives in Celsius. Example: Purple = 275°C / 545°F

4 ASM Heat Treaters Guide, Hardness data compiled from graphs by author September 2006 using this and other references in agreement.

Note that maximum hardness and tempered hardeness vary as much as 2 points Rockwell depending on the chemistry of the steel within its specification range. An increase in carbon or manganeses makes deeper hardening steel and less makes it slightly softer and not as deep hardening.

Revised June 26, 2003, September 2006 added hardness data. 28,697 / 8,981,534


Copyright © 2002, 2006 Jock Dempsey, www.anvilfire.com

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