“This is a classic test to evaluate how heat treatments affect steel properties”
Steel can be very hard or very soft, depending largely on the heating and cooling it is subjected to. The depth of hardening of a steel after a specific heating process is known as hardenability; it’s also inversely related to the weldability of a metal. G2MT Labs offers hardenability testing of steels via the ASTM A255 standard; this test is more commonly known as the Jominy End Quench test. It consists of heating steel samples to the austenitizing temperature before quenching them with water at one end of the sample in a controlled sample holder.
The cylindrical samples are then ground flat on both sides and hardness tests are performed to assess the changed in mechanical properties as you approach the quenched side. The info obtained from Jominy quench testing is quite useful for analyzing steels and their heat treatments, including the distortion and thermal stresses that can come from manufacturing components.
For more info on Jominy Quench Testing and Hardenability: