New White Etch Cracking resistant martensitic stainless steel for bearing applications by high temperature solution nitriding

H.K. Danielsen*, M. Villa, F. Gutiérrez Guzmán, S. Fæster, K.V. Dahl, R.H. Vegter, O.L. Jensen, T.S. Hummelshøj, B. Lehmann, G. Jacobs, M.A.J. Somers, T.L. Christiansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

White Etch Cracking (WEC) is a severe and unpredictable failure mode that has been frequently observed in, among others, bearings for wind energy applications. In this work a novel, patented, WEC resistant bearing steel solution is developed through high temperature solution nitriding, followed by a custom heat treatment. Conventional medium carbon, 13 wt% Cr martensitic stainless steels were subjected to the novel process to obtain a nitrogen-rich case. A series of soft annealing, austenitization, cryogenic and tempering treatments converted the nitrogen-rich region into a fine-grained case containing nano-sized precipitates. Test bearings and tribometer specimens were treated with the same sequence of treatments. These specimens were tested under two different accelerated WEC failure promoting conditions. In contrast to standard through-hardened bearing steel the nitrided specimens showed no WEC formation, not even after prolonged testing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205134
JournalWear
Volume534-535
Number of pages10
ISSN0043-1648
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Nitiriding
  • Roller bearing
  • Steel
  • White etch crack

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