Case-hardening of steel

New process increases strength

Bodycote, together with Swerea, has developed a new process for hardening steel components. This new process enables the fatigue strength of components to be increased by 10 percent.

Case-hardening is a heat treatment process used to give a component high strength, wear resistance, and toughness. Bodycote is a company that works with case-hardening and other thermal processes, and has now developed a new case-hardening process with Swerea called Carbo+®.

Competitive advantages with new process

The process increases the fatigue strength of a component. Fatigue is the weakening of a material caused by repeated low loads, usually lower than what the material can normally withstand. A material's ability to withstand fatigue is called fatigue strength. Owing to increased strength, a product's service life can be extended and small and lightweight components can carry heavier loads.

 Bodycote's new case-hardening process is unique, the surface of the material becomes harder and more perdurable in comparison to conventional case-hardening processes. This new process also affords Bodycote competitive advantages over other companies.

10 percent increased strength

Swerea conducted both the metallurgic analyses and fatigue testing. The results show that the material's fatigue strength increased by 10 percent. A 10 percent increase in fatigue strength is said to double the service life of the product.

The new process was developed in the FFI project IntoxQ.

Case-hardening

Case-hardening is a process used to harden steel components. The component is heated in a carbon-rich atmosphere and then cooled. Carburising and cooling creates a hard surface. At the same time, the core of the material remains soft, which reduces the risk of failure due to brittleness.