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Home Material Sciences Plasma Methods and Tools for Structural Materials Surface Modification and Hardening

Plasma Methods and Tools for Structural Materials Surface Modification and Hardening


National Science Center “Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology” (NSC KIPT) proposes efficient method for surface modification. This method employs the impact of ultrashort (10-6 s) energetic plasma pulses onto metallic surface ensuring effective diffusion of plasma ions into material depth (20-100 μm: nitriding, boronizing, alloying) accompanied by super-fast quenching. Depending on plasma parameters, metal surface can be modified into finegrained or quasi-amorphous layer with tailored combination of physical-chemical properties and essentially enhanced tribological characteristics.

In particular, the proposed method provides:

  • Increment of surface micro-hardness up to 4 times even for previously quenched steels;
  • 4-10 times grows of wear resistance depending on type of steel;
  • Enhancement of corrosion and erosion characteristics (proved by cavitation tests in water).

Relevant publications:

  • I.E. Garkusha et al., Vacuum, V. 58/2-3, 2000, pp 195-201
  • V.I. Tereshin et al. Vacuum, Vol 73/3-4 ,2004, pp 555-560.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

The proposed method combines ultra-fast quenching and alloying. Contrary to traditional nitriding techniques, and enables control over parameters (depth, amount of dopants and structure) of modified layers.

Areas of Application

Hardening of working surfaces of cutting tools dies for cold and hot pressing, moulds, etc. as well as for sites of machines, engines, compressors, hydraulic drives, hydraulics, aviation and automobile technique.Practical implementation of the developed method will allow:

  • Essential increase in operation life of elements in conditions of dry friction;
  • Possibility of replacement of expensive alloyed steels in different mechanisms by cheaper ones, but with necessary physical properties;
  • Healing of defects (microcracks, voids, scratches) in the surface layer.

Laboratory plant for pulsed plasma processing
Fig. 1 Laboratory plant for pulsed plasma
processing, developed at PP NSC KIPT

Fig. 2 Cross section of processed steel.
Modified surface layer, which is resistant to
etching, is shown in white color.

Stage of Development

Method is laboratory tested and mastered. Laboratory plant equipped with lock chamber for parts carrying-in is available for performing of plasma processing of goods and samples. Additionally the Institute of Plasma Physics of the NSC KIPT provides services on the development of technologies for modification and hardening of different materials to mach customers specific requirements. NSC KIPT may perform development, manufacture, delivery of plasma devices and equipment, adapted to specific tasks.

Contact Details

National Science Center “Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology”
Contact person: Dr. I. Garkusha
Address: 1, Academichna, 61108, Kharkov, Ukraine
Теl.: (+38 057) 335 6122
Fax: (+38 057) 335 2664
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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