Protection against wear
The use of stainless steels is necessary for many applications, for example, due to corrosion resistance or magnetic properties. In certain applications, however, austenitic stainless steels also reach their limits because their wear resistance and vibration resistance are low. These can be increased considerably through plasma nitriding.
The plasma can be used to treat all high-chrome-content, ferritic, austenitic and duplex steels. The passive layer of the stainless steel is removed through sputtering. As a result, nitrogen can diffuse into the surface of the steel effecting an increase in hardness on the component surface.
Surface hardnesses of more than 1,000 HV1 are reached. As a result of the high alloy element contents of these steels, and the impediment to diffusion derived from this, the usual nitriding hardness depths are 0.1 – 0.2 mm for ferritic chrome steels and 0.05 – 0.1 mm for austenitic steels.
The ELTROPULS process is a particularly environmentally friendly process for nitriding stainless steels:
- Only harmless gases are used which are contained in the air (no ammonia, no salts)
- No environmentally harmful waste gases are generated
- In contrast with gas nitriding, no waste gas treatment is necessary
- Lowest gas consumption in litres per hour, as opposed to cubic metres per hour
- Low electricity consumption
- Clean work environment
- No waste or disposal costs are incurred
- Low impact on the work environment in terms of noise and heat
- No aggressive chemical substances are required to activate the surface when treating stainless steels
The Eltropuls process offers very flexible options for the treatment of stainless steels.
- Process enabling stainless steels to be partially treated
- Option of producing different layer thicknesses and layer combinations
- Option of preserving corrosion resistance
- Only extremely low influence of magnetic properties
- Extremely high achievable hardnesses of over 1,000 HV
- Exceptional polishability of the surfaces produced
- Minimal warpage
- Option of treatment in a wide range of temperatures
The treatment of stainless steels can occur in a broad range of temperatures. If a low temperature is used, then the corrosion resistance is retained in austenitic steels. You can find more details on the Eltro-Corr process here.