Low temperature plasma nitriding characteristics of precipitation hardening stainless steel

Y Sun, Thomas Bell

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52 Citations (Scopus)


The low temperature plasma nitriding behaviour of 17-4PH type precipitation hardening stainless steel was investigated in the present work. The morphology, thickness, hardness and X-ray difraction characteristics of the nitrided layers produced at temperatures between 350degreesC and 450degreesC were studied It was found that, at temperatures lower than 425degreesC, a thin, hard nitrided layer exhibiting a 'white' and featureless morphology could be produced on the steel investigated X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that this layer was X-raj; amorphous, as derived from its lack of Bragg reflection peaks in the diffraction pattern. At higher nitriding temperatures, chromium and iron nitrides began to form it? the nitrided layer, leading to a transition in nitriding kinetics and a decrease in hardness. The possible mechanisms relating to the formation of the amorphous-like nitrided layer at sufficiently low temperatures are discussed in terms of solid state fusion reaction for of the theory of solid state dif amorphous alloy formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003


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