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Nitriding in pulse glowing discharge (Plasma Nitriding or Ion Nitriding) is an efficient method to increase hardness and wear resistance of metals and alloys. The basic technological advantage of this method is the low temperature at which the process is conducted (800-1200°F), resulting in very small dimensional deformations and distortions. Ion Plasma Nitriding of components is characterized by their active participation in glow discharge, since they serve as cathodes.

Characteristics:

  • Less distortions than gas nitriding because plasma nitriding is performed at a lower temperature and under a vacuum
  • Higher surface, case, and core hardness than gas nitriding
  • Excellent wear resistance: the ion plasma nitriding process produces a compound zone that is dense, nonporous, very hard but not brittle, and has a low coefficient of friction
  • Reproducible results and better control compared to gas nitriding: the process of plasma nitriding is fully automated and computer controlled
  • Great surface finish: no additional mechanical treatments are necessary and the need to activate stainless steel is eliminated
  • Easy masking: surfaces requiring selective treatment are easily masked with reusable mechanical masking devices that are 100% effective
  • Excellent hygiene and working conditions: the process is non-toxic and abides by all modern environmental control standards

Applications:

  • Dies and punches for metal forming
  • Gears
  • Crank shafts
  • Feed screws
  • Camshafts
  • Guides
  • Cylinders
  • Mandrels
  • Molds for plastics
  • Molds for casting of nonferrous metals and alloys
  • Milling tools
  • Drilling tools
Material Ion Plasma Nitriding Temperature Maximum Depth of Nitrided Layer1 Maximal Microhardness
°C °F mm in (HV)
1045 540 - 570 1004 - 1058 0.20 0.008 450 - 600
5120 540 - 570 1004 - 1058 0.50 0.020 450 - 600
5140 530 - 540 986 - 1004 0.50 0.020 500 - 650
4140 530 - 540 986 - 1004 0.50 0.020 600 - 850
H12 520 - 550 968 - 1022 0.50 0.020 700 - 850
4820 520 - 540 968 - 1004 0.50 0.020 650 - 750
A48 540 - 560 1004 - 1040 0.30 0.012 400 - 600
H13 520 - 560 968 - 1040 0.30 0.012 850 - 1200
P20 500 - 530 932 - 986 0.30 0.012 600 - 760
D2, A2, S7 500 - 520 932 - 986 0.15 0.006 900 - 1100
M4, CPM10V 500 - 520 932 - 986 0.05 0.002 900 - 1200
M35 500 - 540 932 - 1004 0.05 0.002 900 - 1100
T42 500 - 540 932 - 1004 0.05 0.002 900 - 1100
420 SS 480 - 540 896 - 1004 0.16 0.006 900 - 1100
135M (Nitralloy) 480 - 540 896 - 1004 0.50 0.020 1000 - 1200

1 Generally, the minimum depth of the nitrided layer will be approx. 0.001” (0.02 mm)