Benefits of Carbonitriding Heat Treatment
Carbonitriding is one of the processes of gas heat treatment. The process involves the introduction of carbon and nitrogen into the surface of the steel. This process is similar to gas carburizing, which is a process in which carbon is infiltrated into the surface and carburized, then hardened by rapid cooling (Quenching) at a lower temperature. The difference between these two processes is the substance added to the steel surface and the temperature used.
Carbonitriding is a process in which carbon and nitrogen are simultaneously infiltrated into the surface of steel at a temperature of about 800℃ to 880℃, lower than ordinary gas carburizing (850℃ - 940℃). After the part has been heat-treated, then the quenching part is needed to immediately start. Quenching is also the critical step in the carbonitriding heat treatment which can be cool heated metal in water, oil, or air in order to obtain desired material properties.
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Purpose of Carbonitriding heat treatment process
The purpose of carbonitriding is to create a hard, wear-resistant surface layer while maintaining the toughness of the underlying metal. The carbon and nitrogen atoms form nitrides and carbides in the metal, which are very hard and wear-resistant. However, the hardened case is not an additional layer on top of the steel. The carbonitriding process alters the top layer of the component so the original dimensions are retained. The process is suitable for non-alloy steel and low carbon steel that would not achieve a hardened surface in standard gas carburizing.