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Austenitic Nitrocarburizing (ANC) Heat Treating

Austenitic nitrocarburizing (ANC) produces a surface compound layer of epsilon iron nitride and a diffusion zone that contains transformed martensite. By processing at higher temperatures than a ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC) process, a portion of the diffusion zone under the compound layer is austenitized as it is stabilized by additional nitrogen content and transforms to martensite upon quenching.

This additional hardened diffusion zone below the compound layer creates additional case depth over a ferritic nitrocarburized surface. Steel components processed by Austenitic nitrocarburizing will have a compound layer hardness typically ranging from 58-65 HRC along with a diffusion zone hardness that may exceed 55 HRC as well.

Enhance Surface Hardness

The Austenitic nitrocarburizing process is still a low-temperature subcritical process that will yield very low distortion as the core material does not undergo any phase transformations. However, as the process runs at higher temperatures than ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC), it will yield more distortion than FNC as the diffusion zone undergoes austenitization and martensitic transformations.

Austenitic nitrocarburizing (ANC) is an excellent process for components that need a deeper case depth and longer wear life than FNC can provide, and still has the benefit of being a low-temperature process where precision dimensional tolerances may be maintained with little to no distortion.

Austenitic Nitrocarburizing Properties
  • Enhances surface hardness
  • High wear resistance
  • Excellent fatigue strength
  • Improved corrosion resistance
  • Zero to minimal distortion
Applications for Austenitic Nitrocarburizing 
  • Parts which require a deeper case depth than FNC can provide
  • Parts which require a long wear-resistant life
  • Parts that would distort too much if carburized or carbonitrided
Related Case Studies
ferritic nitrocarburizing
View Case Study
Low Temperature Processes to Reduce Distortion
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