2014 Volume 54 Issue 4 Pages 916-919
Austenitic stainless steel SUS 316L was nitrided by active screen plasma nitriding (ASPN) using screens with various open areas to investigate the effect of the screen’s open area ratio on the nitriding response. The sample was placed on the sample stage in a floating potential and isolated from the cathodic screen and anode. The screen, which was SUS 316L expanded metal mesh with 38%, 48%, or 63% open area ratio, was mounted on the cathodic stage around the sample stage. Nitriding was performed in a nitrogen–hydrogen atmosphere with 25% N2 + 75% H2 for 18 ks at 693 K under 600 Pa by the ASPN process. After nitriding, the nitrided microstructure was examined using a scanning electron microscope and an electron probe microanalyzer. The phase structures on the nitrided surface were determined by X-ray diffraction. In addition, the surface hardness and cross section of the nitrided samples were measured by the use of a Vickers microhardness tester. The thickness of the nitrided layer of the S-phase decreased with increasing open area ratio of the screen.