Definition - What does Nitrocarburizing mean?

Nitrocarburizing is a thermo-chemical diffusion process in which nitrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms diffuse into the surface of a steel part to form a compound layer on the part's surface. It is a variation of the nitriding process, which is done mainly to provide anti-wear resistance to a metal's surface and to improve its fatigue resistance.

Corrosionpedia explains Nitrocarburizing

Nitrocarburizing is carried out in gas nitriding furnaces or pit-type gas nitriding furnaces, which operate at temperatures up to 1202°F (650°C) and are used for surface hardening of components by nitrogen impregnation. These furnaces are fitted with an atmosphere circulation system and a provision for purging ammonia (because nitrogen is inert at that temperature, ammonia is used).

The benefits of nitrocarburizing include:

  • Improved wear
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Better fatigue strength

Applications for nitrocarburizing include:

  • Gears and pinion shafts\Plastic injection molding
  • Piston rings
  • Aluminum extrusion dies
  • Forging and forming dies
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