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Nitriding metals

This heat treatment process is done by saturating the surface layers with nitrogen, which increases their wear resistance and fatigue strength, as well as corrosion resistance. It is carried out in a vacuum. Since heating and cooling processes are slow to occur, plasma nitriding significantly reduces the formation of material strains and stresses. It also does not require subsequent surface grinding or other mechanical machining and can also be used for hard-to-harden steel grade

Nitro-Tool nitriding using the ASPN method ensures even formation of nitrides that reflect the shape of the component without the formation of a „white” layer. This effect is achieved by the glow of the nitrogen activated plasma on the grid as well as on the nitride component, ensuring that there are no damages or burns caused by excessive plasma overcharges on the component.

Nitriding is used for tool steels, whereas carburization is used for high-chromium and stainless steels. Effective layers reach 0,5 mm and achieve a level of hardness between 700 and 1300 HV.

What is plasma nitriding?

Plasma nitriding is one of the techniques of heat and thermochemical treatment, which is primarily intended to change the properties of the surface layer. It is done by diffusing nitrate into steel surface layers (which have been prepared in advance, e.g. hardened), effectively saturating them. Based on saturation, thermochemical treatments can be divided into:

– non-metals (nitriding, carburating, drilling, etc.)
– metals (chrome, nickel, zinc plating, etc.)
– multi-component (e.g. nitrogen or titanium carburization)

This type of method provides an extremely robust protective layer that protects the component from corrosion or excessive abrasion. One of the greatest advantages of plasma nitriding is that there is no need for additional heat treatment after the process is completed. In many cases, this can make production processes noticeably faster and also reduces costs (especially in the case of high-volume or mass production).

What exactly is the nitriding process like?

Plasma nitriding is an ideal solution for those who want to increase the wear resistance of components, improve their fatigue strength, and provide protection against corrosive damage. Nitriding must be carried out under vacuum conditions, which is directly related to the safety and repeatability of the process. Despite the long heating and cooling time, this technique is valued because of the almost complete lack of workpiece deformations and stresses. Plasma nitriding is a great way to optimize production efficiency due to the fact that there is no need for additional mechanical treatment (e.g. grinding) or heat treatment at a later stage. It is worth noting that this method can also be used for hard-to-harden steel alloys.

The price of plasma nitriding – How much does it cost?

In the case of plasma nitriding, the price is dependent on a wide range of factors, thus we invite anyone interested in obtaining a valuation to contact us by phone or email. Our experienced consultants will be able to provide you with more detailed information regarding our services. Due to the specific characteristics of the industry and business, we do not have fixed price packages. All orders we execute are valued on a case-by-case basis and relevant information, which may vary depending on the scale or specific characteristics of a given project.

Nitriding metals – What methods can be distinguished?

Sacher specializes primarily in ASPN nitriding. This technique is characterized by an evenly distributed layer of nitrates which perfectly reflect the shape of the details without the characteristic white layer. This effect is achieved by using a specialized nitrogen activation grid in the plasma glow process. In practice, this can minimize the risk of damage and overburning of the workpiece, so you don’t have to worry about the appearance of the material being uneven. The ASPN technique used by Sacher is ideal for tool, stainless and high-chrome steels. With a modern and professionally equipped machinery park, our specialists can achieve layers that are effectively up to 0,5 mm thick and achieve hardness of up to 1300 HV.

Stainless steel nitriding - division according to the metal used

Anti-corrosion and hardening nitriding are the two most widely recognized methods of metallization. As you can imagine, they are designed to provide a protective layer that protects the components from corrosion, high temperature oxidation and abrasion. Metallization conducted with these techniques must be carried out under appropriate conditions and facilities (e.g. liquid, solid or gaseous).

Physical vapor deposition (PVD), to put it simply, is conducted by obtaining the right vapor, transporting it from the source to the target material and distributing it evenly (e.g. by using ion spraying). An alternative to PVD is the CVD method (chemical vapor deposition), which is largely based on inducing a controlled chemical reaction using high temperatures (e.g. in a specialized furnace).

Nitriding steel – Which alloys can be strengthened using this technique?

Plasma nitriding is an excellent way to improve the properties of almost all iron alloys and thus steel. Thanks to the progressing development of technology, this method can even be used for alloys with high cast iron porosity or high chromium or nickel content. Even the most advanced devices allow us to nitride aluminum or titanium, which is one of the most commonly used alloys in the production of machine parts. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our experts by phone, as they will be able to advise you on what solution would be best for a given situation.

The uses of nitriding

Hardening and anti-corrosion nitriding are some of the most common methods for protecting moving parts of mechanisms such as gears, crankshafts, valve parts, clutches and motors. Due to their advantages, these methods are also widely used for cold forming tools and forging dies.