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Carburizing

Carburizing is a case hardening process in which a metal part or component of low carbon content is heated in conjunction with a carbon rich substance in gas, liquid or solid form. The process of heating the metal component in a high carbon environment via means of controlled gas environment allows for diffusion of the carbon atoms directly into the surface of the part that needs to be hardened. The amount of carbon that and resultant case depth that gets infused into the metal surface depends upon the carbon potential of the atmosphere, the temperature at which it is heated and the time it is exposed to that temperature and carbon potential. Higher temperatures and longer times with higher carbon potentials will increase the amount of carbon diffused into the surface and the depth of case.   The hardening of both case and core material does not actually occur until the metal is rapidly quenched.  Our carburization processes are designed to be efficient and yield the best possible final microstructure and mechanical properties.

Carburizing Properties

  • Increases surface hardness
  • Improves wear resistance and fatigue strength
  • Sometimes causes grain growth, changes in volume
  • Can be used on simple or complex parts
  • Can be performed in batch equipment for low to medium volume work or in continuous equipment for high volume work
  • Typically works best with low carbon and alloy steels with a carbon content 0.05% to 0.3%
  • Surface of parts should be clean and free of rust or scale
  • The core of the material being hardened is tough and ductile
  • Case depths can be varied from .002″ to .250″ depending on application and intended use

Carburizing Applications

  • Parts which require increased wear resistance and fatigue strength
  • Parts made from low carbon content steels

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