Nitriding is a method for hardening the surface of steel. The nitridability indicates how strongly the material responds to nitriding. The chemical composition of the steel is important here. Alloying elements such as aluminium, chromium and molybdenum have a positive influence on nitridability.
By infusing nitrogen into the steel at 500 to 520 °C over a period of 1-100 hours, a very hard compound layer is formed on the surface of the workpiece.
Nitriding not only increases surface hardening but also improves corrosion protection and increases heat resistance up to 600°C.
This process takes place in a chamber with an ionised gas atmosphere. The furnace wall acts as the anode and nitrogenous gases are used. During plasma nitriding of stainless steel, positively charged ions from the anode hit the workpiece, which is used as cathode, at a very high impact speed. The process takes place in three phases:
- In the first stage, this process works as cleaning of the surface of the workpiece.
- In the second phase the workpiece is heated
- In the third phase the surface is enriched with nitrogen (nitriding / embroidering)
This process improves the sliding properties and produces corrosion-resistant coatings.
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