S. Pathak


2 Effect of Austenitizing Temperature, Soaking Time and Grain Size on Charpy Impact Toughness of Quenched and Tempered Steel

Authors: R. Sarkar, S. Gupta, P. Talukdar, S. Pathak, D. H. Kela, A. Pramanick


Low alloy quenched and tempered steels are typically used in cast railway components such as knuckles, yokes, and couplers. Since these components experience extensive impact loading during their service life, adequate impact toughness of these grades need to be ensured to avoid catastrophic failure of parts in service. Because of the general availability of Charpy V Test equipment, Charpy test is the most common and economical means to evaluate the impact toughness of materials and is generally used in quality control applications. With this backdrop, an experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of austenitizing temperature, soaking time and resultant grain size on the Charpy impact toughness and the related fracture mechanisms in a quenched and tempered low alloy steel, with the aim of optimizing the heat treatment parameters (i.e. austenitizing temperature and soaking time) with respect to impact toughness. In the first phase, samples were austenitized at different temperatures viz. 760, 800, 840, 880, 920 and 960°C, followed by quenching and tempering at 600°C for 4 hours. In the next phase, samples were subjected to different soaking times (0, 2, 4 and 6 hours) at a fixed austenitizing temperature (980°C), followed by quenching and tempering at 600°C for 4 hours. The samples corresponding to different test conditions were then subjected to instrumented Charpy tests at -40°C and energy absorbed were recorded. Subsequently, microstructure and fracture surface of samples corresponding to different test conditions were observed under scanning electron microscope, and the corresponding grain sizes were measured. In the final stage, austenitizing temperature, soaking time and measured grain sizes were correlated with impact toughness and the fracture morphology and mechanism.

Keywords: Heat Treatment, Microstructure, grain size, retained austenite and impact toughness

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1 Fastidious Enteric Pathogens in HIV

Authors: S. Pathak, R. Lazarus


A 25-year-old male HIV patient (CD4 cells 20/µL and HIV viral load 14200000 copies/ml) with a past medical history of duodenal ulcer, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, oesophageal candidiasis presented with fever and a seizure to hospital. The only recent travel had been a religious pilgrimage from Singapore to Malaysia 5 days prior; during the trip he sustained skin abrasions. The patient had recently started highly active antiretroviral therapy 2 months prior. Clinical examination was unremarkable other than a temperature of 38.8°C and perianal warts. Laboratory tests showed a leukocyte count 12.5x109 cells/L, haemoglobin 9.4 g/dL, normal biochemistry and a C-reactive protein 121 mg/L. CT head and MRI head were unremarkable and cerebrospinal fluid analysis performed after a delay (due to technical difficulties) of 11 days was unremarkable. Blood cultures (three sets) taken on admission showed Gram-negative rods in the anaerobic bottles only at the end of incubation with culture result confirmed by molecular sequencing showing Helicobacter cinaedi. The patient was treated empirically with ceftriaxone for seven days and this was converted to oral co-amoxiclav for a further seven days after the blood cultures became positive. A Transthoracic echocardiogram was unremarkable. The patient made a full recovery. Helicobacter cinaedi is a gram-negative anaerobic fastidious organism affecting patients with comorbidity. Infection may manifest as cellulitius, colitis or as in this case as bloodstream infection – the latter is often attributed to faeco-oral infection. Laboratory identification requires prolonged culture. Therapeutic options may be limited by resistance to macrolides and fluoroquinolones. The likely pathogen inoculation routes in the case described include gastrointestinal translocation due to proctitis at the site of perianal warts, or breach of the skin via abrasions occurring during the pilgrimage. Such organisms are increasing in prevalence as our patient population ages and patients have multiple comorbidities including HIV. It may be necessary in patients with unexplained fever to prolong incubation of sterile sites including blood in order to identify this unusual fastidious organism.

Keywords: HIV, fastidious, Helicobacter cinaedi, immunocompromised

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