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Influence of different plasma nitriding treatments on the wear and crack behavior of forging tools evaluated by Rockwell indentation and scratch tests

: Paschke, H.; Weber, M.; Kaestner, P.; Braeuer, G.


Surface and coatings technology 205 (2010), Nr.5, S.1465-1469
ISSN: 0257-8972
International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF) <37, 2010, San Diego/Calif.>
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Konferenzbeitrag
Fraunhofer IST ()
plasma diffusion; crack resistance; forging; hot forming; rockwell indentation; scratch test

Forging tools are often showing short lifetimes compared to cold forming tools e.g. for sheet metal forming. This is based on the process conditions where high local surface temperatures are alternating with chilling conditions due to the spray cooling with water based cooling lubricants. The resulting thermal shock is provoking fatigue of the tool material in the near surface regions. Crack initiation and crack growth due to thermal shock exposure then causes chipping of the tool steel material in the surface regions. These are starting points for extensive wear.
Hardness and wear resistance of tool surfaces at elevated temperatures can be dramatically enhanced with nitriding pretreatments. This has become state-of-the-art for hot forming tool steels in many forging applications. With inappropriate adjustments of the nitriding parameters a decrease of the ductility can occur and will reduce the crack resistance of the tool surface especially under thermal shock conditions.
The hot working steel DIN-1.2367 (X38CrMoV5) is currently one of the most often used chromium-molybdenum tool steels in the field of forging. Exemplary for this material is the influence of the nitriding parameters like temperature, nitrogen supply and plasma parameters on the nitriding depth, the maximum hardness and the crack sensitivity will be discussed.
Nitrided samples will be investigated with methods developed for the adhesion measurement of hard coatings. It could be shown that this is also appropriate for a qualification of the crack sensitivity of tools. Comparative application tests in the production of automotive components show the influence on the wear behavior and lifetime of forging tools in an industrial environment.