2007 Volume 47 Issue 10 Pages 1491-1496
Microstructure and growth kinetics of the nitrided zone have been examined in various Fe–Cr binary alloys ranging from 1 to 30 mass% Cr that had been plasma-nitrided at temperatures between 743 and 943 K. CrN precipitates form under all the nitriding conditions. With increasing Cr content or decreasing nitriding temperature, the morphology of CrN precipitates changes drastically from continuous precipitation with a fine disk-shaped morphology to CrN lamellar precipitation. In addition, small amounts of Cr2N form when the Cr content and the nitriding temperature are high. In spite of the different manners of Cr–nitride precipitation, the thickness of the nitrided zone is approximately proportional to the square root of the nitriding period. Furthermore, in most of the alloys the activation energies for the overall growth kinetics of the nitrided zone are nearly constant.