A study was conducted to determine if commonly used alloying additions or coating materials can prevent the formation of a liquid- copper phase during the reheating of copper-containing steels. If so, the tendency of such steels to surface crack during hot working might be eliminated. Steel specimens were scaled by heating them either isothermally or in a programed manner that simulated industrial furnace practice. Metallographic examination of the heated specimens showed that molten fayalite (fe2sio4) completely prevented the formation of liquid copper at the surface. Fayalite, which melts at 2,200 deg f (1,205 deg c), was formed by internal oxidation of the silicon contained in the steel. By forming complex molten oxides, coatings of borax glass were also effective in preventing the occurrence of liquid copper at the steel surface.