Evaluation by Synchrotron Radiation of Shape Factor Effects on Residual Stress in Nitrided Layers
Nitriding is a thermo-chemical treatment to improve fatigue life of steel parts what are exposed to high cyclic loading on and close to the surface like gears for example. During the nitrogen diffusion, the precipitation of nitrides and carbides generates residual stresses and increases the superficial hardness. These residual stresses are function of the conditions of the nitriding process but also critically depend on the geometry of the steel components. Indeed, the result of the diffusion process is different for a plane geometry or a curvilinear one. In this present work, the sample is a part of a gear, composed by two teeth. Between two teeth of gear, the determination of in-depth stress gradients by classical X-rays diffraction cannot be done with a great accuracy: the spatial resolution is not sufficient because the irradiated area has the same dimension than the surface curvature of the component. Furthermore, it is very difficult to take into account the removal of matter that is required to determine in-depth stress profile because of the particular geometry. The synchrotron diffraction technique is a well-adapted method to determine such stress gradients in strongly absorbing materials due to the capability of penetration power of high energy X-rays. The removal of matter is not required and it is possible to determine an in-depth map of the stress tensor. After measurements on the ESRF ID15 beam line, stress profile has been calculated without the σ33 equal to zero hypothesis. The results are as following: compressive residual stresses were found close to the surface, and the calculated σ33 component of stress tensor is really not equal to zero. This important result seems to show the geometrical effect on stress state near non-plane surface.
W. Reimers and S. Quander
V. Goret, A. Fabre, L. Barrallier, P. Vardon, "Evaluation by Synchrotron Radiation of Shape Factor Effects on Residual Stress in Nitrided Layers ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 524-525, pp. 285-290, 2006