Case hardening in Gastonia, NC is one of the primary metallurgical options for hardening low-carbon steels, via adding carbon to the surface of the steel itself and hardening to a depth of 0.03mm. This method of surface hardening is highly desirable for a number of reasons, including:
- Once exposed to the nitriding process of case hardening, there is no need for further heat treatments, thus lowering the potential for distortion of the treated metal.
- A higher degree of hardness can be achieved through the nitriding process, thereby making case hardening a more effective form of low-carbon steel hardening.
- Finished products have a lower coefficient of friction.
Now, despite the many positives of case hardening, it’s not without its drawbacks—though those are few and far between. A lack of hardening depth is perhaps the biggest disparity in the case hardening method, along with the inability to machine steels that have undergone the process. Generally, however, steel being case hardened will generally not require much in the way of these things post-treatment, making it a highly desirable option in the long run.
Now, case hardening in Gastonia, NC is a metallurgical process with many means to the same end. Take a look at some of the primary case hardening treatments that exist today and how they’re able to achieve superior hardening results:
- Plasma nitriding: For this method, nitrogen, hydrogen and an optional carbon spending gas are charged in a low pressure setting, meaning nitrogen-rich nitrides are formed and decomposed on the surface of the steel, thus releasing active nitrogen that acts to harden
- Nitrocarburising: This method of case hardening in Gastonia, NC involves a diffusion of nitrogen and carbon over the surface of steel at sub-critical temperatures. Because this process is less of an intense reaction, the results are shallower.
- Gas nitriding: This thermochemical metallurgical process is carried out at lower temperatures than other case hardening options. During the process, two layer—a cubic or hexagonal nitride layer and a dissolved nitrogen and hard nitride precipitation layer—hardening is added to the steel, infusing resistance and fatigue strength, respectively.
- Ferretic nitrocarburising: Conducted exclusively within the ferrite phase—above a thousand degrees Fahrenheit—ferretic nitrocarburising takes up to four hours to complete. This process also creates a diffusion layer and a compound layer, thanks to the induction of nitrogen.
Though each of these case hardening methodologies utilizes a different process for creating ductile strength and resilience among steel, they’re all used to great effect across a wide range of practical applications.
If you’re seeking case hardening in Gastonia, NC for your steel component, consult with a metallurgist today about the right process of case hardening for your unique needs. The process could vary amongst the options listed above and, depending on the final application of your treated steel, you might find that one or more of the procedures is an optimal investment! For more information contact J. F. Heat Treating Inc. today.