A preliminary study on plasma surface alloying of medical grade 316LVW and high nitrogen austenitic stainless steel

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Specimens of 316LVM (F138) and high N (F1586) medical grade austenitic stainless steels ( ASS) have been low temperature plasma surface alloyed with nitrogen and carbon, at temperatures between 370-550 degrees C, to enhance their tribological properties and corrosion resistance. Systematic materials characterisation was conducted to investigate the microstructure, phase constituents, composition and surface mechanical properties of the plasma alloyed layers. The tribological and corrosion properties of the surface engineered materials have been evaluated by pin on disc tribometer and electrochemical corrosion tests. Experimental results showed that the surface hardness of both materials was significantly improved by all plasma treatments. Wear resistance was increased by up to 109 times, and wear volumes differed only slightly between treatments. Wear modes were altered from severe abrasive wear to mild oxidative wear. Anodic polarisation test results revealed that when nitrided at


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2006


  • medical grade austenitic steel, high N austenitic steel, 316LVM, plasma surface modification