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Journal of Metallurgy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 385963, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/385963
Research Article

Cathodic Cage Plasma Nitriding: An Innovative Technique

1Grupo de Pesquisa em Materiais e Metrologia, Departamento de Mecânica, Instituto Federal IF-PI, 64000040 Teresina, PI, Brazil
2Departamento de Ciências Exatas e Naturais, Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido, 59625900 Mossoró, RN, Brazil
3Departamento de Física, UERN, Campus Central, 59610210 Mossoró, RN, Brazil
4LabPlasma, Departamento de Física, UFRN, Campus Universitário, 59072970 Natal, RN, Brazil

Received 4 August 2011; Revised 3 November 2011; Accepted 6 December 2011

Academic Editor: Thierry Grosdidier

Copyright © 2012 R. R. M. de Sousa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cylindrical samples of AISI 1020, AISI 316, and AISI 420 steels, with different heights, were simultaneously treated by a new technique of ionic nitriding, entitled cathodic cage plasma nitriding (CCPN), in order to evaluate the efficiency of this technique to produce nitrided layers with better properties compared with those obtained using conventional ionic nitriding technique. This method is able to eliminate the edge effect in the samples, promoting a better uniformity of temperature, and consequently, a smaller variation of the thickness/height relation can be obtained. The compound layers were characterized by X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, and microhardness test profile. The results were compared with the properties of samples obtained with the conventional nitriding, for the three steel types. It was verified that samples treated by CCPN process presented, at the same temperature, a better uniformity in the thickness and absence of the edge effect.