The Effects of Low-Energy-Nitrogen-Ion Implantation on the Tribological and Microstructural Characteristics of AISI 304 Stainless Steel

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Wei, B. Shogrin, P. J. Wilbur

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

O. Ozturk, D. L. Williamson

Department of Physics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401

I. Ivanov

Charles Evans & Assoc., Redwood City, CA 94063

E. Metin

Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801

J. Tribol 116(4), 870-876 (Oct 01, 1994) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2927347 History: Received March 11, 1993; Revised March 24, 1994; Online June 05, 2008


The effects of nitrogen implantation conditions (ion energy, dose rate, and processing time) on the thickness and wear behavior of N-rich layers produced on 304 stainless-steel surfaces are examined. Surfaces implanted at elevated temperatures (≈400°C) with 0.4 to 2 keV nitrogen ions at high dose rates (1.5 to 3.8 mA/cm2 ) are compared to surfaces implanted at higher energies (30 to 60 keV) and lower current densities (0.1 to 0.25 mA/cm2 ). The most wear-resistant surfaces are observed when the implanted-ion energy is near 1 keV and the dose is very large (> 2 × 1019 ions/cm2 ). Typically, surfaces implanted under these optimum conditions exhibit load-bearing capabilities at least 1000 times that of the untreated material. Some comparisons are also made to surfaces processed using conventional plasma-nitriding. Samples treated using either process have wear-resistant surface layers in which the nitrogen is in solid solution in the fcc phase. It is argued that the deep N migration (> 1 μm) that occurs under low-energy implantation conditions is due to thermal diffusion that is enhanced by a mechanism other than radiation-induced vacancy production.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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