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I am not sure on exact temperature, it likely varies somewhat based on the alloy. I have seen it with several different alloys, all of which had different temp requirements to harden.....and different quench requirements as well.
It is indeed possible to remove carbon from steel, though not via the quench liquid. If you overheat the steel, you will "cook" the carbon out of it. I have seen this happen more than once with tool steels and heat treat ovens.
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