Plasma nitriding is a thermo-physical-chemical treatment process, which promotes surface hardening, caused by interstitial diffusion of atomic nitrogen into metallic alloys. In this work, this process was employed in the surface modification of a sintered ferrous alloy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses, and wear and microhardness tests were performed on the samples submitted to ferrox treatment and plasma nitriding carried out under different conditions of time and temperature. The results showed that the nitride layer thickness is higher for all nitrided samples than for ferrox treated samples, and this layer thickness increases with nitriding time and temperature, and temperature is a more significant variable. The XRD analysis showed that the nitrided layer, for all samples, near the surface consists in a mixture of γ′-Fe<inf>4</inf>N and ε-Fe <inf>3</inf>N phases. Both wear resistance and microhardness increase with nitriding time and temperature, and temperature influences both the characteristics the most. © 2014 Brazilian Metallurgical, Materials and Mining Association.
Fontes, M. A., Pereira, R. G., Fernandes, F. A. P., Casteletti, L. C., & De Paula Nascente, P. A. (2014). Characterization of plasma nitrided layers produced on sintered iron. Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 3(3), 210–216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmrt.2014.04.003