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Innovative thermo-chemical treatment of forming, forging and cutting tools

The purpose of this project is to develop a low-cost and high-efficiency new innovative sequence of treatments: nitriding and subsequent heat treatment combined with a deep cryogenic treatment for the formation of nitrided layers with unique properties, on forming, forging and cutting tools.

The essence of the work is the innovative use of a sequence of treatments: nitriding and subsequent heat treatment combined with a deep cryogenic treatment (DCT) for the formation of nitrided layers with unique properties. Within the project two types of nitriding will be applied: austenitic and ferritic. Austenitic nitriding will be carried out at temperatures higher than eutectoid point in the Fe-N system, while ferritic nitriding at temperatures below this point. The formed nitrided layers will be subjected to heat treatment, consisting in quenching and tempering at different temperatures or isothermal quenching and tempering. Process of deep cryogenic treatment will be carried out between quenching and tempering stages or between isothermal quenching and tempering processes. The sequence of processing carried out that way will lead to obtaining of harder, thicker and more resistant to frictional wear nitrided layers, in comparison with layers formed after conventional nitriding of forming, forging and cutting tools. Improved properties of layers will be obtained by dissolving of the subsurface layer of iron nitrides and subsequent nitrogen diffusion into the substrate as a result of austenitizing, further transformation of alloyed nitrogen austenite during the processes of deep cryogenic treatment and the precipitation of fine alloyed carbonitrides in the internal nitriding zone during tempering. The project will explain and allow practical implementation of the strengthening mechanisms of the nitrided layer, occurring during the operation of aging (tempering) after the process of deep cryogenic treatment of tools. Nitriding processes will be carried out in a modern device for controlled gas nitriding, heat treatment processes will be carried out in vacuum furnaces equipped with high-pressure gas cooling system, while deep cryogenic treatment will be performed in vacuum furnaces with integrated DCT system or specialized industrial DCT processor. All above-mentioned devices are used for the development and carrying out of industrial processes by the project participants. In order to image and study micrographs of the formed microstructures the electron (TEM, SEM and AFM) and light microscopy investigations will be pperformed. Phase composition and residual stresses of nitrided layers by sin2Ψ using X-ray diffraction (XRD) method studies will also be carried out. The hardness of the layers will be examined using the DSI method (Depth-sensing indentation). The use of differential scanning calorimetry DSC will allow to analyze the precipitation phenomena occurring during heat treatment of nitrided layers, with or without deep cryogenic treatment. It will be a novel attempt to apply this research in order to analyze the precipitation processes in the nitrided layers. In order to investigate the performance properties of layers the wear resistance by friction test in three rollers-cone system will be carried out. The analysis of samples will allow validating and optimizing the process parameters. Selected and optimized the most promising processing technology variants will be applied to actual tools, subjected to operational tests under industrial conditions. The scope of works will include the following tasks: 1. Analysis and elaboration of parameters of austenitic and ferritic gas nitriding of tools, carrying out of nitriding processes and preliminary metallographic examinations. 2. Analysis and elaboration of parameters of heat and deep cryogenic treatment of nitrided layers on tool steels, carrying out of heat and deep cryogenic treatment processes, preliminary metallographic examinations of nitrided layers. 3. Study of microstructure, phase composition and chemical composition of nitrided layers formed on tool steels. 4. Carrying out of calorimetric analyses (DSC), measurements of internal stresses (XRD) and hardness (DSI) of nitrided layers formed on tool steels. 5. Tests of resistance to wear of nitrided layers formed on tool steels. 6. Determination of the optimal conditions of nitriding and heat treatment with deep cryogenic treatment, guaranteeing the best functional properties of nitrided layers formed on tools. 7. In-field tests of forming, forging and cutting tools subjected to newly developed treatments.
Acronym: 
CRYONITRIDE
Project ID: 
9 170
Start date: 
01-01-2015
Project Duration: 
48months
Project costs: 
1 140 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Iron and Steel, Steelworks
Market Area: 
Industrial Equipment and Machinery

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.