Structural materialization of stainless steel molds and dies by the low temperature high density plasma nitriding
1 Department of Engineering and Design, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo 108-8548, Japan
2 Research Center, Kimura Precision, Co. Ltd., Kyoto 615-8245, Japan
3 Nano-Coat Laboratory, LLC., Tokyo 144-0045, Japan
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Various kinds of stainless steels have been widely utilized as a mold substrate material for injection molding and as a die for mold-stamping and direct stamping processes. Since they suffered from high temperature transients and thermal cycles in practice, they must be surface-treated by dry and wet coatings, or, by plasma nitriding. Martensitic stainless steel mold was first wet plated by the nickel phosphate (NiP), which was unstable at the high temperature stamping condition; and, was easy to crystalize or to fracture by itself. This issue of nuisance significantly lowered the productivity in fabrication of optical elements at present. In the present paper, the stainless steel mold was surface-treated by the low-temperature plasma nitriding. The nitrided layer by this surface modification had higher nitrogen solute content than 4 mass%; the maximum solid-solubility of nitrogen is usually 0.1 mass% in the equilibrium phase diagram. Owing to this solid-solution with high nitrogen concentration, the nitrided layer had high hardness of 1400 Hv within its thickness of 40 μm without any formation of nitrides after 14.4 ks plasma nitriding at 693 K. This nitrogen solid-solution treated stainless steel had thermal resistivity even at the mold-stamping conditions up to 900 K.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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