Solution Nitriding (SolNit®)
Solution Nitriding (SolNit®) is a thermo-chemical heat treatment process similar to case hardening, but it uses nitrogen instead of carbon as an alloying agent. Ipsen's industrial process SolNit® utilizes vacuum furnaces with high-pressure gas quenching capability for nitriding stainless steels. The process allows low-grade stainless steel to be hardened and used in everything from surgical instruments to household appliances.
When treated with a typical nitriding or carburizing processes, stainless steels lose most of their corrosion resistance due to the formation of chromium nitrides or carbides. The Ipsen patented case hardening process imparts a nitrogen rich case measuring up to 0.100" on parts which improves the corrosion, wear, and cavitation resistance of parts made from either austenitic or martensitic stainless steels.
Compared to standard case hardening, the SolNit® process offers several advantages:
- Increases surface hardness without decreasing corrosion resistance
- Eliminates the generation of metal carbides in steel
- Increases resistance against wear, erosion, and cavitation
- Improves high-temperature strength
- Is environmentally safe by using nitrogen as a process gas
There are two variations of the SolNit® Process:
- SolNit®-M (for martensitic steels) improves the surface hardness and associated properties, while retaining a relatively ductile core and increasing corrosion resistance.
- SolNit®-A (for austenitic steels) creates high compressive stress in the surface zone of a component, which results in increased cavitation resistance.