22nd November, 2017

Processes - Plasma Nitriding

Nitriding is a low-temperature low-distortion "thermo-chemical" heat treatment carried out to enhance the surface properties of finished or near-finished ferrous components.

Nitriding, conducted in gas (490-560°C) or plasma (400-590°C) for treatment times ranging up to 90 hours, involves the diffusion of nitrogen into the surface to produce a controlled depth of hard alloy-nitrides. Unlike the high-temperature case-hardening treatments (carburising/ carbonitriding), hardening is achieved without the need for quenching.

What are the benefits?

Favoured for components that are subjected to heavy loading, nitriding imparts a high surface hardness which promotes high resistance to wear, scuffing, galling and seizure. Fatigue strength is increased mainly by the development of surface compressive stresses. Hot hardness and resistance to tempering are improved and corrosion resistance is moderately enhanced. The low processing temperature and subsequent slow cooling help minimise distortion. Typical applications include gears, crankshafts, camshafts, cam followers, valve parts, extruder screws, die-casting tools, forging dies, aluminum-extrusion dies, injectors and plastic-mould tools.

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