This work deals with the development of residual stresses during nitriding of steels. The main features of a chemico-thermo-echanical model of nitriding are presented. A micro-macroapproach is applied based on volume change computation in agreements with thermochemical modifications. Results are correlated with the characterization of a ternary Fe-C-3w.%Cr alloy nitrided at 550°C for various time. Residual stress-depth analyses are carried out by X-rays diffraction. Residual stress generation is deeply dependant on chemical and thermodynamical evolutions during the treatment, taking advantage on microstructural effects.