MIHAI BRANZEI, MIHAI OVIDIU COJOCARU, LEONTIN NICOLAE DRUGA, FLORICA TUDOSE, ROXANA TRUSCA NON-TOXIC ENVIRONMENT FOR FERRITIC NITROCARBURISING PROCESS
Experimental research aimed to find a solution for replacing components with high toxicity (or generating such components as a result of reactions occurring in the environment at processing temperatures) from the environments used for ferritic nitrocarburising process (FNCP) with non-hazardous components, but extremely active during the process. In the temperature range in which this type of processing is applied (lower than the eutectoid transformation temperature in the Fe-N phase diagram), the most commonly used media are liquid or gaseous; liquid ones contain toxic components (sodium or potassium cyanates/cyanides), and gaseous ones require complex equipments. Packing is extremely rarely used, but in this case pack-mix contain toxic components (15 ÷ 20 wt.% sodium or potassium ferrocyanide). Urea also called carbamide (CO (NH2)2) is the active component in the pack-mixing proposed to be used for FNCP. Carbamide is used in low temperature cyanidation thermochemical heat treatment (liquid FNC), together with sodium or potassium carbonates, resulting in very toxic reaction products (sodium or potassium cyanates). Compared to cyanidation, in the version proposed in the paper, the carbamide does not react with carbonates because they are not found in the composition of the environment but decomposes in the presence or absence of oxygen (by a disproportionation reaction) with the formation of some gas molecules interesting for the process. It has been concluded that the use of carbamide together with two other components, activated charcoal (having a triple role - dispersing, storage, surface saturation) and respectively ammonium chloride as surface reaction activator, is an effective solution for achieving the desired goals by applying this type of thermochemical processing to a wide range of products made of quality steels up to alloy miscellaneous steels.
Keywords: ferritic nitrocarburising (FNC), average toxicity, ionic adsorption mechanism