This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

What is plasma?

Plasma describes the fourth state of matter, an electrically conductive gas.

What is that good for?

The electrical energy of the plasma replaces some of the thermal energy during the heat treatment. The workpieces are heated less than during other methods. This makes it possible to achieve a higher dimensional accuracy of the workpieces. At best, a downstream hard machining can be completely eliminated.

Nitriding & Nitrocarburizing,
Plasma Nitriding & Plasmanitrocarburizing … What is the difference?

In plasma nitriding, nitrogen is stored in the surface layer of the workpiece. If additional carbon is introduced, it is called plasmanitrocarburizing.
The different components have an influence on the layer properties of the heat-treated workpiece. In common usage, however, there is often no distinction between the two methods, since they have no principal differences, with the exception of the treatment gases.

Which materials can be plasma nitrided?

Primarily, the method applies to steel and titanium.
An overview of the treatment results of common materials can be found here.

My material is not listed in the overview. What now?

Every steel is nitrable. Based on our experience, we are happy to give a treatment recommendation, hints and assessments of what hardness and hardness depths can be achieved.

Which hardness is achievable?

The achievable hardness depends largely on the composition of the starting material. Materials with a high content of chromium, manganese, vanadium and other nitride-forming alloying elements therefore achieve higher hardnesses than low-alloyed steels. The nitriding steels thus get their name because they have a correspondingly high proportion of nitride forming components.

Why is the tolerance of the attainable hardness seemingly so high?

Each standardized material has a defined composition with defined tolerances of the components. The proportion of nitride formers in the starting material therefore varies within this tolerance and has a direct effect on the achievable hardness.

Can you plasma nitride stainless steel?

Yes stainless steel, high-chromium, rust- and acid-resistant steels can be plasma-nitrided. The treatment is carried out in the context of adapted processes. However, depending on the desired results and the process parameters, the treatment of stainless steel may decrease the corrosion resistance.

Is it possible to plasma nitride aluminum?

A treatment of aluminum is possible in principle, but not useful in practice. During the nitriding process, aluminum nitride forms on the surface of the workpiece. This layer is electrically non-conductive and hinders the process from a certain point in time. A satisfactory process reliability is not given.