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The Superficial Layer

The Superficial Layer

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Published by: PRASAD326 on Feb 24, 2009
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08/01/2012

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chapter five
The superficial layer 
5.1 Development of concepts regarding the superficial layer 
Since the close of the previous century, intensive research has been con-ducted to learn about the structure and properties of the surface obtained by machining, later to be broadened to include abrasive and even later to ero-sion treatment. In significantly earlier times not much was known about thefact that as a result of any reduction machining, shaping the final object,specific properties are given to the surface. It was only known that by ma-chining one can obtain a smoother or a rougher surface, which was for along time thought to be the only property of the surface.Research of the real surface intensified after the discovery, at the turn of the century, of a layer of destroyed crystals at the surface by G. Beilby [1].This layer later came to be known as Beilby layer or superficial layer. Afterthe end of World War II it was recognized that the structure of superficiallayers of objects plays a major role in shaping their usable properties duringservice.In Poland research of properties of superficial layers was conducted by scientists involved with various treatments by reduction - the most com-monly used of all mechanical technologies of yesterday and today. Thesepioneering works did not encompass general investigations of physicalsurfaces, created as a result of various technological processes (with useof external force), but naturally were directed at the broadly understood ma-chining treatment with the possible inclusion of other smoothing treatments.For this reason, even for many years after World War II, the term
surfacetreatment
was understood either only or mainly as machining, abrasive orerosion treatment with one addition - selected from the entire family of elec-trochemical treatments - electropolishing [2-4].Today, an approach like this is an evident anachronism; nevertheless,research in the field of machining was the topic of pioneering technologicalworks which made possible closer insight and widening of knowledge aboutthe physical surface. Several new concepts and definitions were developed,of which the most important are the following.By 
superficial layer
of a material we should understand a set of mate-rial points, contained between its external surface and an apparent sur-face which is the limit of changes of properties of the subsurface layer,these changes having come about as a result of external forces: pressure,
© 1999 by CRC Press LLC
 
temperature, chemical and electrical factors, bombardment by particles chargedand electrically neutral, etc. The remaining portion of the material beyond thesuperficial layer is the
core.
From the point of view of standardization, the superficial layer is de-fined as follows
 
[5]:
Superficial layer
1
- a layer of material, limited by the real surface of an object,which includes this surface and that portion of the material inward from thereal surface which exhibits changed physical, and sometimes chemical proper-ties in comparison with properties of the material core.The above definition basically includes the
technical superficial layer
which constitutes the domain of shaping, research and technical utiliza-tion and which is the subject of technical science. The introduction seemsalso possible of another concept: that of a
physical superficial layer
,with a thickness of several angstroms (thus several orders of magnitudethinner than that of the technical superficial layer), within which thechange in physical and chemical properties is greatest. Further in thisbook we will consider mainly the technical superficial layer.It should be emphasized that the properties of the superficial layer, i.e., itsstructure and properties - imparted to it as a result of treating of the object,depend predominantly on the type of this treatment - on the technology of shaping of the object (both by material reduction and without reduction) aswell as on the technology of giving it special physico-chemical properties.The obtained service properties are usually not constant with time:– they may change spontaneously, in a natural manner, without the par-ticipation of extraneous technical factors, e.g., as a result of naturalaging, stress-relieving;– they may change non-spontaneously, under the influence of extrane-ous technical factors (forces) occurring during the service of the object,e.g. as a result of loading, wear, chemical action of the environment.
The structure of the superficial layer
, constituting a “set of elementsof the real surface of the object and structure of its superficial layer, suchas geometrical elements of the surface and physical properties of the ma-terial, e.g., grain size,” evidently also depends on the type of treatment.Researchers emphasize the zoned structure of the superficial layer,which is a derivative of the type of treatment, and define the concept of the superficial layer zone, its internal limit and thickness.
The superficial layer zone
is the portion of the superficial layer, the vol-ume of which is determined by the existence of a given property. The indi-vidual layers may permeate one another, with a transition from one to theother, or they may occupy together the same part of space.
The internal limit of the superficial layer
is the theoretical surfacedetermined by points corresponding to boundary values of that property of the superficial layer for which the thickness of that layer, thus defined,
 
1)
Superficial layer (Eng), couche superficielle (Fr), poverkhnostniy sloy (Rus), Oberflächenschicht (Ger 
).
© 1999 by CRC Press LLC
 
Fig. 5.1
Method of determination of internal boundary of superficial layer.
is greatest (Fig. 5.1). The determination of the internal limit of the superficiallayer is very difficult and in most cases is only an approximation, an as-sumed value. This is because the internal limit, as a two-dimensional plane,is practically non-existent. For that reason, the internal limit of the superfi-cial layer is assumed as an arbitrarily determined depth of penetration of changes of one or more properties of the layer, called boundary value orassumed value. Such properties of the superficial layer, also referred to asparameters of the superficial layer, could be e.g., microhardness, residualstresses, type of structure, distribution or diffused or implanted element. Inthe standardized sense, the depth of penetration of the considered property is defined by:
The boundary value of a property
- the value differing from the valueof that property in the core by a conventional differential
d
(Fig. 5.1). Thisvalue
d
is, naturally, different for different properties, and, in many in-stances, for the same property but defined by different researchers or dif-ferent schools of thought, e.g., conventionally assumed hardened case depthor conventionally assumed depth of diffusion.The concepts of internal limit of the superficial layer together with theearlier discussed real surface of an object are associated with yet anotherconcept of great importance - that of the
superficial layer thickness
. This
© 1999 by CRC Press LLC

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