Article ID: ISIJINT-2019-069
Coarse and fine grained AISI316 substrates were prepared to describe the grain size effect on the inner nitriding behavior at 623 K by using the high density plasma nitriding without precipitation of nitrides. In case of coarse grained AISI316, the nitriding process advanced homogeneously in one part of nitrided layer with high nitrogen content, and, heterogeneously in its other part. In the former, γ–α' two-phase, fine microstructure was uniformly formed by the phase transformation and plastic straining with the nitrogen supersaturation. In the latter, the nitrogen super-saturation localized to selectively modify the coarse grains to form the transformed α'-phase zones with the plastically strained γ-phase ones, even below the nitriding front end of 30 μm. In case of fine-grained AISI316, the nitriding took place homogeneously to form fine, two-phase microstructure down to the nitriding front end of 40 μm. This difference in the inner nitriding behavior came from the synergetic relationship between the nitrogen diffusion and super-saturation processes.