WHAT IS NITRIDING?
Surface hardening is now used in almost all sectors of the metal industry and in the plastic and machinery manufacturing industry. The duration of the products, moulds, dies, tools, machine tools and components can be extended considerably with surface treatment.
There are products that are only made possible with the increased strength and decreased surface abrasion achieved through these processes.
Over the years, various methods have been developed for surface hardening. All of them – some more than others – have more or less serious drawbacks, such as:
- Inconsistent and irregular results.
- Irregular and hard to reproduce structure layers.
- Deformation of parts.
- Surface damage to high-sheen finishes.
- Processes that are sometimes very lengthy.
All of these problems have been overcome with the PULSE PLASMA process under vacuum techniques, which offers a huge range of applications.
Nitriding is a thermochemical treatment of surface enrichment of the steels in the ferritic phase with nitrogen and ammonia. This is achieved by introducing these elements into the material itself.
The nitriding processes comprise two mechanisms:
a)Surface chemical conversion treatment which leads to the formation of a combination layer made up of iron nitrides on the surface of the part.
b) A treatment in nitrogen diffusion and interstitial solid solution in combination with certain alloying elements, primarily Cr, Mo, Ti, Al and V, from the steel to be treated, in finely dispersed nitrides leading to a hardening through structural reinforcement at a depth called the diffusion layer or zone.