Nitriding and carburizing

Components during plasma nitriding treatment.
© Fraunhofer IST
Components during plasma nitriding treatment.

Improved properties through nitrogen and carbon

One of the most common diffusion treatments is the treatment with nitrogen, carbon and a combination thereof. When these elements are diffused in, a nitriding zone is formed which is divided into a wear-resistant compound layer on the surface and an underlying diffusion layer. The characteristics of these zones and the associated properties, such as the hardness-depth profile or the chemical resistance, can be specifically configured through the treatment parameters. In addition, the adhesion of subsequent coatings can be improved.

Many years of development for optimized edge-zone properties

Each application requires a diffusion zone which is specially tailored to the load situation. In addition to the chemical composition, this is dependent on further factors such as the microstructure and morphology. With the expertise and experience gained from many years of research activities, the Fraunhofer IST would be pleased to provide you with support in the modification and optimization of your edge zones. This includes, amongst other aspects: 

  • Pre- and post-treatment of the material
  • Development of the diffusion process, specially adapted to material and application
  • Analysis of the edge zone in cross-section using standard procedures

Selected reference projects


Reference project



Reference project

Prognosis tool for plasma nitriding processes

Further information


From research

Treatment possibilities for components subjected to tribocorrosive stresses


From research

Thermal shock resistant tool surfaces