Thermochemical diffusion controlled processes like nitriding enable the increase of both fatigue strength and thermal fatigue resistance. Also the improvement of wear and corrosion resistance are often motivation for the application of a nitriding technique.

MCL's research activities focus on the composition, the structure and the properties of thermochemically enhanced near surface zones in dependence on the applied technique. Special interest is put on highly alloyed steels, e.g. the hot work tool steel X40CrMo5-1.

By the mechanism of precipitation hardening, the finely adjustable plasma nitriding allows for increasing the life time by establishing a hardness gradient and the introduction of compressive residual stresses in the near surface zone. Simultaneously also the wear resistance is improved.

For application-specific adjustment of the edge and for understanding the influence of the alloying elements, a multi-methodical characterisation approach is applied in cooperation with MCL's research partners. Future activities will complement the experimental methods by the application of the thermokinetic simulation software MatCalc for prediction of the precipitate formation.