For the first time, vacuum carburization surface treatment was applied to high carbon bearing steel 100Cr6. The rolling contact fatigue (RCF) life and the wear behavior of 100Cr6 with and without carburization were compared and the microstructure was characterized. The carburization results in 30 vol% cementite and ~20 vol% retained austenite in the surface layer, significantly higher than those processed by the conventional heat treatment. RCF life (L10) is significantly enhanced by more than 10 times from 1 × 107 cycles to ≥1 × 108 cycles by carburization. This enhancement is attributed to plate/rod cementite and retained austenite.
- Vacuum carburization
- High carbon bearing steel
- Rolling contact fatigue
- Coefficient of friction
- Gradient distribution of carbides