We studied the mechanical properties and wear performance of AISI 1045 (Ck45) carbon steel under the influence of pulsed plasma nitriding. The treatments were performed at temperatures of 500 and 550 C in N2:H2 gas ratios of 1:3 and 3:1 and the working pressure of 10 mbar for 1 to 4 hours.
Samples were examined by X-ray diffraction, optical, electron and atomic force microscopy, microhardness tests, roughness measurements and wear tests. Nitride layers were mainly composed of -(Fe2–3N) or -(Fe4N) depending on the gas ratio and/or temperature and time.
When the nitriding time is increased, the composition of the compound layer varies from monophase -(Fe4N) to the two phase of -(Fe2–3N) and -(Fe4N). The highest thickness and hardness of the layers were obtained at 550 C in the N2:H2 gas ratios of 3:1 for 4 h.
The topographical evolution and surface roughness of the samples showed that all the roughness parameters increase with increasing the temperature. The friction coefficient of all samples was higher than that of untreated material. Wear performance of all nitrided samples was significantly better than that of untreated material
This paper is published in journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.
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