Gradient Microstructure in a Gear Steel Produced by Pressurized Gas Nitriding

Ran Yang, Guilin Wu, Xiaodan Zhang, Wantang Fu, Niels Hansen, Xiaoxu Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

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A tempered martensitic gear steel (18CrNiMo7-6) sample was nitrided on two sides using a 5 atm pressurized gas at 530 °C for five hours. The nitrided sample was characterized by means of microhardness, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. A microhardness gradient was identified over a distance of 1000 µm with hardness values from 900 HV0.1 at the surface to 300 HV0.1 in the center matrix. The gradient microstructure was mainly divided into three zones: (i) a nitride compound layer at the top surface (~20 µm thick), (ii) a diffusion zone with containing precipitates (~350 µm thick), and (iii) the center matrix of the tempered martensite. Compared with carburized sample, the harder surface of the nitrided one ensures a better performance of the present pressured gas nitrided gears.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3797
Issue number22
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Gear steel
  • Pressurized gas nitriding
  • Microhardness
  • Gradient microstructure


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