Prognosis tool for plasma nitriding processes for the edge-layer treatment of tools and components

Components during plasma nitriding treatment.
© Fraunhofer IST
Components during plasma nitriding treatment.
Das 9. und 12. Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung der UN: Industrie, Innovation und Infrastruktur und verantwortungsvoller Konsum und Produktion.

Challenge

The user of plasma nitriding technology is often faced with the question as to how an optimum nitriding result can be achieved and which process parameters need to be set for this purpose. In most cases, this is limited to the desired nitriding hardness depth, and standard processes are applied for the nitriding which are not optimally adapted to the material, the geometry or the end application. 

Solution

Within the framework of the project, more than 500 combinations of a widely varying range of materials and process parameters were investigated. The treated samples were subsequently comprehensively characterized and evaluated. In order to validate the results, comparative tests were carried out on industrial facilities. In parallel, in collaboration with the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology, a neural network was trained using the data in order to provide a fundament for the creation of a software-based prognosis tool for the plasma nitriding processes.

Added value 

The results were processed in the form of a data collection which enables the nitriding result to be estimated for e.g. a given material as well as process parameters or, alternatively, the required process parameters to be specifically selected for the desired nitriding result. As a result, the tool life of tools and/or the service life of components can be significantly increased.

Microstructure of a nitrided edge zone.
© Fraunhofer IST
Microstructure of a nitrided edge zone.
The resulting hardness depth profile dependent on the material.
© Fraunhofer IST
The resulting hardness depth profile dependent on the material.

Funding reference

The IGF project 18741 BG of the research association Deutsche Gesellschaft für Galvano- und Oberflächentechnik e.V. (DGO) is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) via the AiF within the framework of the program for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.

Logo of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action
© BMWK
(formerly Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)
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