Influence of Plastic Deformation on Low-Temperature Surface Hardening of Austenitic Stainless Steel by Gaseous Nitriding

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This article addresses an investigation of the influence of plastic deformation on low-temperature surface hardening by gaseous nitriding of two commercial stainless steels: EN 1.4369 and AISI 304. The materials were plastically deformed to several levels of equivalent strain by conventional tensile straining, plane strain compression, and shear. Gaseous nitriding of the strained material was performed in ammonia gas at atmospheric pressure at various temperatures. Microstructural characterization of the as-deformed state and the nitrided case produced included X-ray diffraction analysis, reflected-light microscopy, and microhardness testing. The results demonstrate that a case of expanded austenite develops and that the presence of plastic deformation has a significant influence on the morphology of the nitrided case. The presence of strain-induced martensite favors the formation of CrN, while a high dislocation density in a fully austenitic structure does not lead to such premature nucleation of CrN.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2579-2590
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Atmospheric temperature
  • Austenitic stainless steel
  • Hardening
  • Nitriding
  • Plastic deformation
  • Stainless steel
  • Strain
  • Temperature
  • X ray diffraction analysis
  • Austenitic structure
  • Expanded austenite
  • High dislocation density
  • Low temperature surface hardening
  • Micro-structural characterization
  • Microhardness testing
  • Plane strain compression
  • Strain-induced martensite
  • Low temperature effects

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