Nitriding behavior of Ni and Ni-based binary alloys

by Matej Fonovic

Institution: University of Stuttgart
Department: Fakultät Chemie
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1107038
Full text PDF: http://elib.uni-stuttgart.de/opus/volltexte/2015/9830/


Gaseous nitriding is a prominent thermochemical surface treatment process which can improve various properties of metallic materials such as mechanical, tribological and/or corrosion properties. This process is predominantly performed by applying NH3+H2 containing gas atmospheres serving as the nitrogen donating medium at temperatures between 673 K and 873 K (400 °C and 600 °C). NH3 decomposes at the surface of the metallic specimen and nitrogen diffuses into the surface adjacent region of the specimen whereas hydrogen remains in the gas atmosphere. One of the most important parameters characterizing a gaseous nitriding process is the so-called nitriding potential (rN) which determines the chemical potential of nitrogen provided by the gas phase. The nitriding potential is defined as where and are the partial pressures of the NH3 and H2 in the nitriding atmosphere. In contrast with nitriding of alpha-Fe where the nitriding potential is usually in the range between 0.01 and 1 atm-1/2, nitriding of Ni and Ni-based alloys requires employing nitriding potentials higher than 100 atm-1/2 and even up to infinity (nitriding in pure NH3 atmosphere). This behavior is compatible with decreased thermodynamic stability of the 3d-metal nitrides with increasing atomic number. Depending on the nitriding conditions (temperature, nitriding potential and treatment time), different phases are formed at the surface of the Ni-based alloys. By applying very high nitriding potential, formation of hexagonal Ni3N at the surface of the specimen (known as external nitriding) leads to the development of a compound layer, which may improve tribological properties. Underneath the Ni3N compound layer, two possibilities exist: (i) alloying element precipitation within the nitrided zone (known as internal nitriding) and/or (ii) development of metastable and precipitate-free microstructure known as expanded austenite or S-phase, which can enhance surface hardness, fatigue properties and corrosion properties.Nitriding of multicomponent Ni-based alloys is usually applied in the industry. Nevertheless, the understanding of nitriding is mostly based on phenomenological research and experience. Thereby there is still absence of complete understanding of nitriding of Ni-based alloys, which requires further detailed investigations. Since studying the nitrided multicomponent alloys is complicated, in this thesis fundamental investigations were performed on pure nickel and binary Ni-based model alloys.This thesis focuses on the nitriding behavior of pure nickel, which will result with an thermodynamic evaluation of the Ni-N system. Furthermore, deeper insights in the nitriding behavior of the binary Ni-based alloys is obtained upon nitriding Ni-4 wt.% Ti and Ni-2 wt.% Ti (Ni-5 at.% Ti and Ni-2.5 at.% Ti) alloys. Thereby, the development of large residual macrostresses parallel to the surface of the specimen is related with the N concentration gradient in the nitrided zone. Gasnitrieren ist ein thermochemisches Oberflächenbehandlungsverfahren, das z.B.…