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Characterization of surface layers in ion-nitrided titanium and titanium alloys

Surface layers having elevated hardness were produced by ion nitriding of titanium and α-β alloys of Ti-6wt.%Al-4wt.%V, Ti-4wt.%Al-2wt.%Sn4wt.%Mo and Ti-4wt.%Al-2wt.%Mn. The treatment was conducted at temperatures between 1073 and 1273 K for times of 4-32 h, using gaseous mixtures of nitrogen and hydrogen containing 20-80 vol.% nitrogen. X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy and microhardness were used to characterize the hardened surfaces. In most of the samples, this surface was composed of the phases δ (TiN type), ε{lunate} (Ti2N type) and α (solid solution of nitrogen in titanium); in other cases only the δ and α phases were present. The operating parameters which influence the composition of the layer were identified and the particular crystalline texture of the ε{lunate} phase is discussed.
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