HARDENING Surface Hardening, a process that includes a wide variety of techniques and is used to improve the wear resistance

of parts without affecting the more soft, tough interior of the part. This combination of hard surface and resistance to breakage on impact is useful in parts such as cam or ring gear that must have very hard surface to resist wear, along with a tough interior to resist the impact that occurs during operation. There are three different approaches in surface hardening, they are • Thermochemical diffusion methods includes Carburizing, Nitriding,

Carbonitriding and Ferritic Nitrocarburizing • Applied energy or thermal methods, which do not modify the chemical composition of the surface but improve the properties by altering surface metallurgy, that is, they produce a hard quenched surface without additional alloying species. • Surface coating or surface modification methods, which alter the subsurface chemical composition.(hard chromium plating, Thermal spraying, Electroless Nickel Coating, Weld Hardfacing, Chemical Vapor Deposition, Physical Vapor Deposition, Ion Implantation, Laser Surface Processing) APPLIED ENERGY OR THERMAL METHODS: Flame Hardening: A high intensity oxy-acetylene flame is applied to the selective region. The temperature is raised high enough to be in the region of Austenite transformation. The right temperature is determined by the operator based on experience by watching the color of the steel. The overall heat transfer is limited by the torch and thus the interior never reaches the high temperature. The heated region is quenched to achieve the desired hardness. Tempering can be done to eliminate brittleness. The depth of hardening can be increased by increasing the heating time. As much as 6.3 mm (0.25 in) of depth can be achieved. In addition, large parts, which will not normally fit in a furnace, can be heat-treated.

Further. As in laser beam hardening. • Solid solution strengthening. The heat source is a beam of high-energy electrons.Induction Hardening: In Induction hardening. A phosphate coating is applied over the steel to facilitate absorption of the laser energy. Depending on the frequency and amperage. an alloying element is added to the material desired to be strengthened. the depth of heat absorption can be controlled. Electron Beam Hardening: Electron Beam Hardening is similar to laser beam hardening. and together they form a “solid solution”. Different . the steel part is placed inside a electrical coil which has alternating current through it. • Work hardening (also referred to as strain or cold hardening) the material is strained past its yield point. Laser Beam Hardening: Laser beam hardening is another variation of flame hardening. The selected areas of the part are exposed to laser energy. the surface can be hardened very precisely both in depth and in location. This energizes the steel part and heats it up. By varying the power of the laser. produces very little distortion. Smaller grain size will make the material harder. The details of heat treatment are similar to flame hardening. The process can be highly automated. The five hardening processes are: • The Hall-Petch method is used to change the grain size in a material. This causes the selected areas to heat. The parts are then quenched and tempered. The work done on the material adds energy and has the ability to move and generate dislocations. this is well suited for surface heat treatment. This process usually takes place at a temperature below the materials recrystallization temperature. but if the grains get too small the hardness can actually decrease. this process can be run at high speeds. This process is very precise in applying heat selectively to the areas that need to be heat-treated. Hence. manipulated using electromagnetic coils. the rate of heating as well as the depth of heating can be controlled. but needs to be performed under vacuum conditions since the electron beams dissipate easily in air. which can affect the dislocation density.

• Precipitation hardening is a process where impure particles are distributed throughout the metal. a higher hardness phase of steel. In this transformation. Precipitation hardening is one of the most commonly used techniques for the hardening of metal alloys. In steels. a similar method is referred to as a martensitic transformation. commonly known as quenching and tempering. • Martensitic transformation. introduce dislocations or defects in a crystal lattice that act as barriers to slip. forming martensite. austenite is rapidly cooled off before the dissolved carbon atoms have a chance to escape. This is achieved by first heating the metal above its phase transition temperature and then rapidly cooling the metal. . except of the martensitic transformation.alloying elements can be used to cause either a substitutional or an interstitial solid solution. Particles of the second phase become trapped and form anchor points to impede the movement of dislocations. All hardening mechanisms.