Tribological properties of plasma nitrided and hard coated AISI 4140 steel

B. Podgornik, J. Vižintin, O. Wänstrand, M. Larsson, S. Hogmark, H. Ronkainen, K. Holmberg

Wear 249 (2001) 254–259.


In the present study, samples made of AISI 4140 steel pre-treated with plasma nitriding and coated by different PVD coatings (TiN, TiAlN and ta-C) were investigated in terms of their microhardness, surface roughness, scratch adhesion and the dry sliding wear resistance. Wear tests, in which duplex-tretated pins were mated to hardened ball bearing steel discs, were performed with a pin-on-disc machine. To examine the influence of the nitrided zone on the performance of the coating-substrate composite, coatings were deposited on hardened as well as on plasma nitrided samples, prepared under different nitriding conditions. The results of the investigation showed improved mechanical and wear properties of the plasma nitrided hard-coated specimens compared to the un-coated and pre-hardened ones. Furthermore, the compound layer was found to act as an intermediate hard layer leading to superior sliding wear properties of the composite.

Keywords: plasma nitriding, hard coatings, duplex treatment, dry sliding

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