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Evaluation of Surface Properties of Various Plasma Nitrided Low Alloy Steels

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In the present study different grades of low alloy steels like; En8, En24, En26 and En41b etc. have been plasma nitrided for different process time. Plasma nitriding has been carried out using pulse dc 30 kHz plasma that is produced in a large volume cylindrical chamber. After plasma nitriding, surface properties are investigated. Optical microscopic study confirms that the micro-structural changes occur during plasma nitriding process. XRD analysis of treated samples reveals the formation of different phases such as; γ-Fe4N, and ε-Fe2–3N at the plasma nitrided surface. A Vickers micro-hardness tester was used to measure the surface micro-hardness before and after plasma nitriding. Surface micro-hardness and diffusion depth initially increases drastically with process time in all the low alloy steel samples. However, after longer treatment time surface micro-hardness is reduced, while diffusion depth found to increase continuously. It is also observed that the alloying elements present in different grade of steels play a significant role during the plasma nitriding process. It is found that the steel which have strong nitride forming elements show maximum surface micro-hardness and diffusion depth.
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Keywords: Alloys; Diffusion; Glow Discharge; Micro-Hardness; Microstructure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Jaipur Campus, 27-Malviya Industrial Area, Jaipur 302017, India 2: Birla Institute of Technology, MesraMain Campus, Ranchi 835215, Jharkhand, India

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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