Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 75, Number 3, September 2016
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Plasma, Discharges and Processes|
|Published online||10 October 2016|
Improvement in nano-hardness and corrosion resistance of low carbon steel by plasma nitriding with negative DC bias voltage
Centre de Développement des Technologies Avancées (CDTA), Cité 20 Août 1956, B.P. 17, Baba Hassan, Alger, Algeria
2 Université des Sciences et des Technologies Houari Boumediene, Laboratoire de Physique des Matériaux, B.P. 32, El Alia, Bab Ezzouar, Alger, Algeria
3 Centre de Recherche en Technologie des Semi-Conducteurs pour l’Energétique (CRTSE), 2 Bd Frantz Fanon, B.P. 399, Alger, Algeria
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 4 July 2016
Accepted: 22 August 2016
Published online: 10 October 2016
In this work, we study the effect of plasma nitriding on nano-hardness and corrosion resistance of low carbon steel samples. The plasma was generated through a radio-frequency inductively coupled plasma source. The substrate temperature increased (by the self-induced heating mechanism) with the treatment time for increasing negative bias voltages. X-rays diffraction analysis revealed the formation of nitride phases (ε-Fe2-3N and γ'-Fe4N) in the compound layer of the treated samples. A phase transition occurred from 3.5 kV to 4.0 kV and was accompanied by an increase in the volume fraction of the γ'-Fe4N phase and a decrease in that of the ε-Fe2-3N phase. Auger electron spectroscopy revealed a deep diffusion of the implanted nitrogen beyond 320 nm. The nano-hardness increased by ~400% for the nitrogen-implanted samples compared to the untreated state, the nitride phases are believed to participate to the hardening. Potentiodynamic polarization measurements revealed that the plasma nitriding has improved the corrosion resistance behavior of the material. When compared to the untreated state, the sample processed at 4.0 kV exhibits a shift of +500 mV and a reduction to 3% in its corrosion current. These results were obtained for relatively low bias voltages and short treatment time (2 h).
© EDP Sciences, 2016
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