Plasma nitriding is a thermochemical treatment, widely used in many technical applications as a final operation to improve the mechanical, tribological and corrosion properties of steel. This paper is focused on plasma nitriding treatment of X12Cr13 martensitic stainless steel. For nitriding of martensitic stainless steel was two stage plasma nitriding proces performed. The nitrided X12Cr13 stainless steel was characterized by measuring depth profiles and residual stress. Measuring of residual stress was carried out by X-ray diffraction on the Stresstech Xstress 3000 G2R device. To identify critical areas in terms of surface integrity was used Barhausen noise analysis. The verification of material chemical composition was carried out by OES Oxford FOUNDRY-MASTER device. The objective was to verify the nature of the residual stress before and after thermochemical treatment. The depths of the plasma nitride layers were estimated using cross-sectional microhardness profiles measuring. Microhardness and surface hardness of plasma nitrided steel samples were significantly increased. The samples prior and post thermochemical treatment showed significant differences of residual stress, which may be caused by machining with blunt tool, what has a significant influence on the creation of plasma nitride layer as well.Keywords: Martensitic Stainless Steel, Strain Hardening, Residual Stresses, Plasma Nitriding
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