Plasma carburising

Plasma carburising

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Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A transmission gear undergoing a surface hardening process called plasma carburisation within a plasma chamber. Ions from the plasma dissolve into the steel (which is given a negative charge to attract them) thus forming a new, harder, alloy at the surface. The plasma contains the correct mixture of elements necessary to produce the desired characteristics in the new alloy. This photo, taken through the inspection window of the sealed chamber, shows the part fluorescing. The energy responsible for this is evolved when the excited plasma ions recombine with electrons in the steel thus achieving a lower energy state.

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Keywords: alloy, carburising, coating technology, plasma, plasma chamber, surface hardening, surface hardening of alloy, transmission gear

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