The harmful effect of cavitation is the erosion of the material. Although there are many studies on improving the mechanical properties of the material in order to increase resistance to cavitation so far none has defined the optimal solution for complete protection against this type of wear. New methods aimed at increasing resistance to cavitation erosion use surface hardening techniques. One of them is the gas nitriding, which ensures a significant increase of the surface layer hardness. This aim of present paper is highlighting the behavior and the resistance acquired by X5CrNi18-10 austenitic stainless steel, nitrided in gas. This steel is used both for manufacturing and repair works of details used for equipment subjected to intense cavitation. The cavitation erosion resistance is put into evidence both by analyzing the images of the eroded surfaces by optical and electronic microscopy, as well as by comparing the specific characteristics curves of the steel subjected to solution treatment at 1100 °C with cooling water and the standard OH12NDL steel, which is known for good resistance to cavitation attack, in field conditions.Keywords: Austenitic stainless steel, gas nitriding, cavitation erosion, mean depth erosion, erosion rate
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