Titanium and its alloys possess several attractive properties that include a high strength-to-weight ratio, biocompatibility, and good corrosion resistance. However, due to their poor wear resistance, titanium components need to undergo surface hardening treatments before being used in applications involving high contact stresses. Laser nitriding is a thermochemical method of enhancing the surface hardness and wear resistance of titanium. This technique entails scanning the titanium substrate under a laser beam near its focal plane in the presence of nitrogen gas flow. At processing conditions characterized by low scan speeds, high laser powers, and small off-focal distances, a nitrogen plasma can be struck near the surface of the titanium substrate. When the substrate is removed, this plasma can be sustained indefinitely and away from any potentially interacting surfaces, by the laser power and a cascade ionization process. This paper presents a critical review of the literature pertaining to the laser nitriding of titanium in the presence of a laser-sustained plasma, with the ultimate objective of forming wide-area, deep, crack-free, wear-resistant nitrided cases on commercially pure titanium substrates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry