Abstract— A comprehensive study of fluidized bed nitriding was performance on a carbon steel (grade AISI St 41) and low alloy steel (grade AISI 4140) at 550 0C in 20 % N2 and 80 % NH3 atmosphere at a flow rate gasses of 0.7 m3/hr. Various surface roughness were used to incorporate nitrogen into these steels. The nitride layer formed at AISI 4140 showed better surface roughness and surface hardness than AISI St 41. With low chromium alloy (grade AISI 4140), nitrogen diffusion is more uniform in the lower surface roughness after nitriding process. It has been found that the surface microhardness of the compound layer increases with decreasing surface roughness and chromium alloy contents. The layer nitride has a decrease surface roughness ranging from 50 % at 0,1 µm to about 17 % at 0,5 µm. On the contrary, the carbon steel without chromium alloy (grade AISI St 41) sample show an enhance surface roughness between 1.3 to 2.5 times after nitriding process, but on 0.5 µm surface roughness sample show a decrease surface roughness of about 10%. All sample show an enhanced surface microhardness after nitriding significantly. Chromium alloy is found to enhanced the nitriding efficiency. Without chromium in the steel, a lower surface roughness provides a supplementary amount of implanted nitrogen available for further diffusion, and the uniform of the surface passive oxide. So, with limited surface roughness, more uniform layers with higher amounts of nitrogen can be achieved by low chromium alloy. However, with limited solubility of nitrogen atom in α-Fe into iron nitride form, the nitrogen becomes supersaturated reaction and nitride layer is more brittle and porosity. It is can be ascribed to the nitrogen solubility in the nitride layer, which at AISI St 41 is higher due to the formation of porosity phase while at AISI 4140 a phase rich in nitrogen (ϒand ε phases) is formed.
Keywords— roughness, fluidized bed, nitride layers, microstructures, SEM.
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