ILARE BORDEASU, CORNELIA LAURA SALCIANU, MIRCEA OCTAVIAN POPOVICIU, ION MITELEA CAVITATION EROSION RESISTANCE OF LASER BEAM NITRIDE LAYERS OF X5CRNI18-10 STAINLESS STEEL
The use of nitration in technical applications, as thermochemical treatment, regardless of the used method (ionic, gas or laser beam nitration) is realized to obtain a nitrogen rich layer, which increase the resistance to shock or abrasion, as a result of the high hardness obtained. All the previous cavitation researches showed that hardness is an important mechanical properties, for cavitation erosion resistance increase. The present paper show some results regarding the cavitation erosion behavior of laser beam nitrated layers. As basic material was used the austenitic stainless steel X5CrNi18-10. This material is frequently used for manufacturing details subjected to cavitation, such as valves, drawers of hydraulic distribution and regulation devices, or the retaining ring for butterfly valves. There were used three power regimes of the laser beams: 120 W, 180 W and 240 W. To obtain cavitation erosion was used the standard device with piezo-ceramic crystals of Timisoara Polytechnic University Cavitation Laboratory. The cavitation erosion comparisons, both with the basic material subjected only to the common thermochemical treatments and with the laboratory cavitation standard steel (OH12NDL), show that the nitrated surfaces presents increased cavitation erosion behavior, the principal factor being the important hardness increase of the nitrated layer. We mention also, that for higher laser beam powers the thickness of the nitrated layer increases. All the images obtained at the end of tests show that the cavitation exposure was stopped before overtaking the nitrated layer. So, all our results concern only the hardened layers.