Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Development, Characterization, and Resultant Properties of a Carbon, Boron, and Chromium Ternary Diffusion System
by Domec, Brennan S., Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2017, 274; 10266264
Abstract (Summary)

In today’s industry, engineering materials are continuously pushed to the limits. Often, the application only demands high-specification properties in a narrowly-defined region of the material, such as the outermost surface. This, in combination with the economic benefits, makes case hardening an attractive solution to meet industry demands. While case hardening has been in use for decades, applications demanding high hardness, deep case depth, and high corrosion resistance are often under-served by this process. Instead, new solutions are required.

The goal of this study is to develop and characterize a new borochromizing process applied to a pre-carburized AISI 8620 alloy steel. The process was successfully developed using a combination of computational simulations, calculations, and experimental testing. Process kinetics were studied by fitting case depth measurement data to Fick’s Second Law of Diffusion and an Arrhenius equation. Results indicate that the kinetics of the co-diffusion method are unaffected by the addition of chromium to the powder pack. The results also show that significant structural degradation of the case occurs when chromizing is applied sequentially to an existing boronized case. The amount of degradation is proportional to the chromizing parameters.

Microstructural evolution was studied using metallographic methods, simulation and computational calculations, and analytical techniques. While the co-diffusion process failed to enrich the substrate with chromium, significant enrichment is obtained with the sequential diffusion process. The amount of enrichment is directly proportional to the chromizing parameters with higher parameters resulting in more enrichment. The case consists of M7C3 and M23C6 carbides nearest the surface, minor amounts of CrB, and a balance of M2B.

Corrosion resistance was measured with salt spray and electrochemical methods. These methods confirm the benefit of surface enrichment by chromium in the sequential diffusion method with corrosion resistance increasing directly with chromium concentration. The results also confirm the deleterious effect of surface-breaking case defects and the need to reduce or eliminate them.

The best combination of microstructural integrity, mean surface hardness, effective case depth, and corrosion resistance is obtained in samples sequentially boronized and chromized at 870°C for 6hrs. Additional work is required to further optimize process parameters and case properties.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chambers, Terrence
Commitee: Chirdon, William, Emblom, William, Khattab, Ahmed, Lee, Jim
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Systems Engineering
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-B 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanical engineering, Materials science
Keywords: Boronizing, Carburizing, Chromizing, Corrosion, Kinetics, Multi-component diffusion
Publication Number: 10266264
ISBN: 9780355114157