The main objective of the die heat treatment is to enhance the surface hardness and wear properties to extend the die service life. In this paper, a series of heat treatment experiments were conducted under different atmospheric conditions and length of treatment. Four austenitization atmospheric conditions were studied and although each heat treatment condition resulted in a different hardness profile, it did not affect the results for gas nitriding. All samples subjected to the nitriding process produced similar thicknesses of hardened case layer with average hardness of 70 - 72 HRC if the initial carbon content is not too low. It was shown that heat treatment without atmospheric control results in a lower hardness on the surface since the material was subjected to decarburization effect. The stainless steel foil wrapping around the sample and heat treatment in a vacuum furnace could restrict the decarburization process, while pack carburization heat treatment resulted in a carburization effect on the material.
Cite this paper
Pasang, T. , Chen, Z. , Ramezani, M. , Neitzert, T. and Au, D. (2013) The Effect of Heat Treatment Atmosphere on Hardening of Surface Region of H13 Tool Steel. Journal of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering
, 20-29. doi: 10.4236/msce.2013.16004
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